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Motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk designated drivers?

When people get ready to go out, they will often pick a person to be the designated driver for the evening. This allows everyone to be able to enjoy themselves without having to worry about transportation. Having a sober driver helps reduce the risk of accident for those in the car, as well as for other motorists on area roadways. 

However, a recent study by the University of Florida indicated that not all of these designated drivers may be staying sober. In fact, an alarming number may even be under the influence behind the wheel, leading to a greater chance that these motorists will be involved in a serious motor vehicle accident

The study went to bars in an unidentified college town. The researchers asked individuals if they were the designated drivers for the evening. Blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests were administered to 165 people that stated they were the sober drivers. 

Of these 165, 108 had no alcohol present in their blood. There were 28 people who showed a BAC level between 0.02 and 0.049 percent, and another 29 individuals above 0.05 percent. The study did not indicated how many of these drivers were above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. It is also unclear how many of these potentially impaired drivers actually did drive home after their BACs were tested.

Some motorists might begin to show signs of impairment when their BACs are at 0.05 percent, because alcohol can affect people differently. Some may not even be aware that they are actually above the legal limit before getting behind the wheel.

Motorists injured in accidents with drunk drivers should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about their claims. They may be eligible to obtain recovery for the damages and expenses that resulted from the accident.

Source: KLTV, "Designated drivers often drunk themselves," Randy Dotinga, June 10, 2013.

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