- The Washington Times - Monday, June 10, 2013

Designated drivers may not be as sober as one might think, a new study found.

Up to 40 percent may actually have consumed alcohol before they get behind them wheel, with some of them drinking enough to have impaired skills, the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found.

The study spanned a three-month period and involved 1,071 bar patrons, 165 of whom were serving as designated drivers. Most were white male college students.

About 40 percent who were supposed to serve as drivers actually consumed alcohol. And 18 percent who were given breathalyzer tests actually scored 0.05 percent or higher, entering impairment zone, the report said. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08 percent.

“We should not trust a designated driver to be sober,” E. Scott Geller, a professor who studies alcohol consumption at Virginia Tech, told CBS News.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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