Could Mobile Breathalyzers Decrease DUI in Colorado?

Published: August 15, 2017 в 11:09 pm


man-blowing-into-breathalyzer-while-sitting-in-front-of-car-smAccording to the Colorado Department of Transportation, a whopping 40 percent of the DUI arrests made in the state are for prior DUI offenders. Because this number is so high, CDOT set out to determine whether mobile breathalyzers can decrease a person’s risk of being arrested for a subsequent DUI. The agency is accomplishing this goal by engaging those with a prior DUI in a new study. Those with a prior DUI in Colorado counties Jefferson, Weld or Adams can apply. Those who are chosen to participate in the study will be asked to use the BACtrack breathalyzer, and to complete surveys throughout the survey. Those who do complete those surveys will be allowed to keep the BACtrack device.

2016 Study Found a Third of Fatal Auto Crashes in Three Counties Involve a Drunk Driver

In 2016, a full one-third of the fatal auto crashes in Adams, Jefferson and Weld counties involved a drunk driver. The study used the BACtrack Mobile Pro—a breathalyzer which connects to your smart phone, and which can allow the user to request an Uber as well as displaying the BAC of the person who blows into the device. The app also gives an estimate of when the person’s BAC levels will return to normal.

2015 Study Shows Significant Benefits for Drivers Using a BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer

VP of Marketing for the BACtrack, Stacy Sachs, believes those who use the device will see significant benefits. Sachs’ belief is backed up by prior CDOT studies, particularly a 2015 study in which the vast majority of the participants claimed the BACtrack would definitely reduce their likelihood of driving drunk. Based on the prior studies conducted with mobile breathalyzers, more than 80 percent of those surveyed agreed that anyone who “regularly” drinks, should definitely own a mobile breathalyzer. Before engaging in the studies, 79 percent of the participants admitted to driving when their BAC was above the legal limit.

After completion of the studies, the participants were asked the same question again. This time, only 12 percent said they may have driven while impaired. Each participant recorded an average of 21 BAC readings over the course of the survey, with the “average” reading being 0.087 percent—slightly above Colorado’s 0.08 limit. Among those surveyed, 92 percent were aware of the 0.08 BAC limit, however only 47 percent knew about Colorado’s 0.05 percent DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) law. Another alarming result of the study was that 92 percent of the respondents said they had been a passenger with a driver whose BAC was likely above the legal limit.

Further Reading: Tiger Woods Arrest Highlights How Damaging DUI Accusations Can Be

More Study Results

The breathalyzer tests with the highest readings occurred on Fridays and Saturdays, with the average BAC readings being 0.082 on Friday nights and 0.096 on Saturday nights. Although Sundays received only half the number of high readings, the highest BAC recorded (0.101 percent) did occur on a Sunday. Respondents in the 21-30 age group had the highest average BAC readings at 0.092 percent, while those in the 61 plus age group had the lowest average BAC readings at 0.047 percent.

Participants who had completed the mobile breathalyzer studies found that the device gave them an “extra line of defense” when convincing friends not to drive while impaired. Participants also found that they were over the legal limit much more often than they realized. One participant found his BAC at 0.04 percent the next day, after drinking the night before, saying “Scary.” In short, mobile breathalyzers can, at the very least, help those who drink make better decisions regarding driving or riding with a person who has been driving.

Contact Our Boulder DUI Defense Attorney

Boulder, CO DUI Defense Attorney Steven LouthIf you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Boulder, Aurora, Denver, or anywhere in the state of Colorado, it is important to fight these charges aggressively. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges. Protect your future – call today.



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