CDOT Hopes Free Personal Breathalyzers Will Reduce Drunk Driving

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has teamed up with BACtrack, a manufacturer of personal breathalyzers, in order to gain insight into the drinking habits of Coloradans. Through this partnership, the organizations hope to see if possession of a personal breathalyzer can prevent people from engaging in behaviors such as DUI or DWAI.

The BACtrack Mobile breathalyzer is a Bluetooth-enabled handheld breathalyzer that connects to your smartphone. When you blow into the device, it will display your results on your smartphone and even tell you how long you need to wait before it is safe for you to drive. This can help drivers determine whether their blood alcohol concentration is above .08 – the legal limit before you can be charged with DUI – or between .05 and .08 – the legal limit before you can be charged with DWAI.

The study involves three short online surveys over the course of the summer, and participants who complete the study will be allowed to keep their BACtrack, free of charge.

Are Personal Breathalyzers Accurate?

The best practice to follow when you have been drinking is to avoid driving altogether. However, some people purchase personal breathalyzers in order to gauge their own BAC so that they can drive as soon as possible after drinking. If you plan to use a personal breathalyzer to avoid DUI, make absolutely sure that you follow the instructions carefully. Most personal breathalyzers require a waiting period following your final drink before the test results will be accurate. If you rush out the door at the first sign of a low BAC, you may find yourself toe-to-toe with an officer who says your BAC is higher than your personal breathalyzer said.

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