CDOT releases results of drunk driving survey

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DENVER, Colo. (KKTV) The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is getting proof that if you own a breathalyzer, you're less likely to drive drunk.

It's all part of a survey that was launched this summer. The survey was taken in July and August.

In that time, CDOT gave 225 randomly selected volunteers a breathalyzer to use along with a smartphone application.

11 News first reported on that story in July. Click here to read that report.

Participants used the breathalyzer and application to test their blood alcohol content (BAC) while they were drinking. This included while they were out, before going home, or even while they were staying at home drinking.

Once it tested the user's BAC, they had the option to request a safe ride home from ride-sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft.

The results were largely positive. Before the survey, almost 80 percent admitted to drinking and driving. The end results revealed that number went down to just 12 percent.

“We are really encouraged by the results of this survey," says CDOT spokesperson Sam Cole. "People who got the breathalyzers were much more likely to make good decisions when it comes to drinking and driving.”

CDOT released a video with the full results. You can watch that video by clicking here.

Another major find: less than half the people involved knew you could get charged with drinking while ability impaired (DWAI) with a BAC of just 0.05.

With these results, CDOT says this was a learning experience for users.

"Evidently, this crowd were a bunch of heavy drinkers. I mean, they recorded close to 5,000 readings on their breathalyzers over two months, so evidently they were out drinking a lot this summer, but apparently making some really good decisions thanks to the breathalyzer," says Cole.

Cole stated, “The results of this study indicate that we need to be expanding this program and getting breathalyzers into the hands of more people.”

Cole says CDOT will continue to work with the makers of the breathalyzers to either work to lower the cost, or for CDOT to potentially buy them in bulk to hand out to the community.

The average breathalyzer is $50-$100, which compared to the cost of a DUI -- both in terms of money and possibly saving a life -- could be well worth the cost.