A new study may put the kibosh on my weekend ritual....going out to dinner and having one, yes one, glass of wine. Helps me unwind after a week of kids, work, household chores. My husband, who enjoys two glasses, always hands the keys over to me after we pay the bill. Safe decision, right? Maybe not, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, say that drinking even a single glass of wine or beer can raise your blood-alcohol concentration enough to increase your chances of being seriously hurt or even dying in a crash if you get behind the wheel.
They analyzed national data on accidents in the U.S. from 1994 to 2008. The results showed that even a blood-alcohol level of just 0.01 is dangerous if you're driving. The legal limit in the United States is currently 0.08 percent.
"Accidents are 36.6 percent more severe even when alcohol was barely detectable in a driver's blood," said study author David Phillips, a sociologist at the University of California, San Diego.
Researchers also compared sober drivers to drivers with a "buzz" and found that "buzzed drivers are more likely to speed, more likely to be improperly seat-belted and more likely to drive the striking vehicle, all of which are associated with greater (accident) severity." And the more the driver consumed, the greater the speed of their vehicle.
Bottom line according to the study authors: no amount of alcohol seemed to be safe for driving.