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Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 11:12am
El Paso, TX (CNN) — A new study suggests designated drivers are not taking their duties seriously, or soberly.
The study, published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that 35-percent of designated drivers drink alcohol while serving as the designated driver.
One in five had blood-alcohol levels high enough to impair their driving.
Researchers interviewed and tested 1,100 people, and of the designated drivers who drank alcohol, half had blood alcohol levels higher than .05 percent.
That is the new limit recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board to all 50 states. The current limit in Texas is .08 percent.
A local bartender said it's easy to identify the "D-D" in a group.
"They don't ask for anything but coke, juices or even just regular, non-alcoholic beverages."
Mike Davila said he has s seen it happen plenty of times. Someone agrees to be a designated driver, but once the night goes on, the designated driver starts drinking.
"I've seen girls that tell me, 'We're drinking, he's not. Then I look at him and he's got a drink stashed behind his back," said Davila.
Researchers concluded there needs to be consensus that a designated driver must not drink any alcohol while serving as a designated driver.