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New study on designated drivers reveals sobering statistic

Drunk driving accidents are some of the most senseless types of crashes on the road. Generally speaking, these accidents are completely preventable. And yet there are too many times when people are catastrophically or fatally injured in a crash simply because a driver has gotten behind the wheel after drinking too much. Any driver who has consumed a certain amount of alcohol can be affected by impairment, but too many people do not take this risk seriously. They do not seem to realize that their impaired reflexes, poor decision-making skills and blurred vision make them a hazard on the road. All too often, however, these are the drivers who end up crashing into an innocent victim. 

To make matters worse, a new study reveals that even drivers who have been assigned as designated drivers are getting behind the wheel intoxicated. Iowa drivers may be quite surprised at just how common it is for a person who is supposed to stay sober to be driving drunk. 

The recent study looked at 1,071 bar-going college students. Many of the students involved in the study, about 165 of them, identified themselves as a designated driver but a staggering 40 percent of the drivers who were tasked with staying sober ended up consuming alcohol before driving. About one-fifth of them were impaired by the alcohol. 

People do not need to be overly intoxicated or even buzzed to be susceptible to the effects of alcohol. All it takes is just one drink too many to end up putting other people's lives in danger. In situations that involve an impaired designated driver, the lives of the people who are relying on a sober ride home are also put in danger.

It is very worrisome to learn that so many designated drivers are not taking their responsibility to stay sober seriously. Even if a person has not been drinking as much as their friends or for as long as their friends, they can still become impaired and end up causing a serious drunk driving accident in Iowa. Whether a driver is just over the legal limit or way over the legal limit, he or she should be held responsible for driving drunk and putting others in harm's way. 

Source: CBS News, "Study: One-fifth of designated drivers impaired behind wheel," Michelle Castillo, June 10, 2013

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