By Jamie Leary
DENVER (CBS4) – The results are in after more than 400 first time DUI offenders in Colorado volunteered for a first of its kind CDOT breathalyzer study.
CDOT in has previously studied the impact of smartphone breathalyzers on behavior. This time, wanted to see if the devices in the hands of a high-risk group reduced the chance for a second DUI.
CDOT teamed up with BACtrack, a personal breathalyzer company. For six weeks CDOT studied and analyzed 475 participants.
“For two years, we’ve sought to learn more about breathalyzers and their potential to reduce impaired driving. This year, we wanted to learn if breathalyzers could help an at-risk group: those who have been convicted of impaired driving once before,” said Sam Cole, CDOT communications manager. “The program surveys indicate having a tool on hand that provides information about intoxication levels helped participants from getting behind the wheel impaired.”
In the six weeks before receiving their smartphone breathalyzers, 28 percent of the first-time DUI offenders in CDOT’s 2017 Breathalyzer Program indicated they may have driven a vehicle impaired. Since receiving the breathalyzers, only 9 percent think they drove impaired.
While one of the participants did receive a second DUI, CDOT said it found the overall results of the study a success.
Other 2017 Breathalyzer Program results include:
- Prior to the program, 42 percent of participants were confident in their ability to drive after a few drinks. Since owning a breathalyzer, 30 percent felt the same way.
- Ninety-four percent of participants agreed that everyone who regularly drinks should own a personal breathalyzer.
- One individual reported a DUI conviction since receiving a smartphone breathalyzer.
- When asked if owning a smartphone breathalyzer has helped participants avoid impaired driving, 91 percent “agreed” or “strongly agreed.”
One concern CDOT pointed out was that, while most participants were aware the of the .08 DUI legal limit, only a few were aware that driving with a BAC of over .05 can land you a DWAI (driving while ability impaired). The fine for a DUAI can be up to $1,500 plus 8 points on your license.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.