Not all designated drivers remain sober

Approximately half of designated drivers do not remain sober when going out with their friends, which may be due to misunderstanding or boredom.

Drunk driving has long been a concern in New York and the rest of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 3,752 fatalities linked with driving under the influence in the state over the course of a decade. Per 100,000 state residents, the rate of death due to collisions involving drunk drivers is 1.7. Mass media campaigns that encourage designated drivers are a popular prevention tool. However, not everyone deemed a sober vehicle operator abstains from having a drink.

Most drink less than companions

A study done in Florida showed that many designated drivers were getting behind the wheel of a car with a blood alcohol level of 0.02 to 0.05 percent. While this BAC is much lower than the legal limit of 0.08 percent, vehicle operators may still struggle to drive well. In fact, some studies looking at a driver's ability to react to traffic while drinking show impairment starts at 0.02 percent for many people with most being unable to drive well after reaching 0.05 percent. While the designated individuals had some alcohol in their system, many of their companions had higher BACs, which shows at least some restraint on the part of the driver.

About half have at least one drink

Some designated drivers do of course remain completely sober. The study found that 41 percent of the drivers that participated had had at least one drink and nearly 20 percent had had enough alcohol to put them close to or over the legal limit. This means that over half of the people chosen to remain sober did in fact abstain from drinking. The issue is that those going out drinking may not realize how much a single alcoholic beverage can affect their ability to drive, and even if they are aware, they may be too bored to abstain.

Perks may help encourage sobriety

When groups head to bars or festivals, there may be little for the sober driver to do because these events often cater to the drinking crowd. However, many festivals across the country have started offering a safe haven for anyone who does not plan on drinking. This area may contain crafts, entertainment and drinks specifically for those who plan on driving their inebriated friends. Some events even waive or reduce the admission cost for anyone acting as a sober driver. When a person in the role of selected driver has other ways of being entertained, he or she may be less likely to drink beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages.

Many New York drivers are aware of the dangers of drunk driving, yet they get behind the wheel when impaired. It can be beneficial to work with an attorney familiar with motor vehicle accidents involving drunk drivers if an accident does take place.