Study finds some designated drivers drive drunk - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Study finds some designated drivers drive drunk

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The Fourth of July is one of the biggest nights of the year for fun and festivities but it's also one of the deadliest for drivers. 

Statistics show that the holiday is one of the most dangerous nights of the year due to drunk driving and a recent study reveals designated drivers aren't making things any safer.

It's not the kind of problem you would expect a designated driver to have--driving everyone home safely. But a recent study by the University of Florida in Gainesville found that as much as 35 percent of designated drivers drank while on duty. And of those 18 percent were legally drunk when they hit the road.

"I'm surprised it's not an even bigger number than that," said Madison McPherson, a bartender at Gusano's Pizzeria in Little Rock.

McPherson says the numbers don't surprise her.

"I'll have people come in and tell me, 'I'm not drinking, I'm the designated driver,' and then five minutes later they'll get a beer," said McPherson.

Police say regardless of the consequences and heightened police presence during holidays drunk driving is always a problem.

"We hope that people would have the common sense to not drink and drive," said Lt. Carl Minden, Pulaski County Sheriff's Office. "But, unfortunately, it's a proven fact that some of them are going to no matter what we do."

But, police say designated driver or not, they're tough on drunk driving and are cracking down on it, especially tonight.

"If you're out driving around and you're intoxicated and you get stopped, you will go to jail," he said.