Each year in Colorado, more than 26,000 people are arrested for DUI and over 150 people are killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This represents more than one-third of all traffic fatalities in the state. Unfortunately, many people think it’s safe to drive after “a few drinks,” although drivers can reach the DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) .05 BAC level or DUI .08 BAC level after only a couple drinks.
To help combat this dangerous misconception, CDOT has partnered with BACtrack, a leading personal and law enforcement breathalyzer company, to solicit feedback from Coloradans on how breathalyzers may change their drinking habits, especially when it comes to drinking and driving.
“This is a unique opportunity for both participants and CDOT to gain insights about drinking tendencies, and to see how a breathalyzer can improve decision-making,” said Sam Cole, CDOT Communications Manager. “We know that even a few drinks can be dangerous, and we hope that smartphone breathalyzers can help drinkers know their own limits and make the safe decision about driving.”
Recruitment for participants is underway, and those interested can sign up at breathalyzer.codot.gov through July 22. Through the partnership with BACtrack, CDOT plans to randomly select 200 participants from the applicants. Participants will receive a BACtrack Mobile breathalyzer unit for their use during the summer, and will complete three short surveys with questions about drinking habits, driving and their breathalyzer use.
In 2015, August and September were the two months with the highest number of suspected impairment fatalities. Of the 182 statewide impairment fatalities in 2015, 25 percent (47) occurred in August and September, according to preliminary data.
“BACtrack is honored to partner with CDOT to help carry out our mission: to help people monitor their blood alcohol content and make informed decisions by providing the industry’s most accurate, innovative, and affordable breath alcohol testing devices,” said Stacey Sachs, VP of Marketing at BACtrack. “We believe that technology combined with knowledge is a powerful tool. Our BACtrack Mobile can help people make the right decisions — especially during the summer months when it’s relaxing to sit outside and enjoy a few drinks.”
In September, CDOT will compile information gathered from participants and share. For more details, visit breathalyzer.codot.gov.