CDOT asking for participants in study to reduce DUIs

Published: Jul. 20, 2016 at 5:49 PM MDT
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CDOT is aiming to reduce the number of drunk driving deaths in Colorado.

They're asking for volunteers to sign up for a free smartphone breathalyzer to track with an app. Those volunteers will be part of a study.

By using the breathalyzer along with the app, CDOT hopes it will make people more aware and curb their drinking and driving.

CDOT says most people are shocked to see they are above the legal limit after they have just a few drinks.

“When we bring these to events where people have been drinking and we ask them to blow into it and we get their BAC reading off of it, they’re always surprised how high the reading is, and also to know that .05 or above is the legal limit in Colorado," says Sam Cole from CDOT. "You can be arrested for .05.”

The number of DUIs in Colorado are some of the largest in the country. On average, 70 people every day are arrested for DUI in Colorado. Last year, more than 150 people died in DUI-related crashes.

“Last year was actually a record year in recent memory for the number of traffic fatalities in Colorado," says Cole. "We were seeing an uptick in the number of drunk driving fatalities in Colorado ... This year unfortunately, we are running at a similar pace.”

The app, called BACtrack, works by pairing with the breathalyzer to show your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you are impaired, it will tell you how that will impact your motor skills and judgement. Then it will send you to the driving app, Uber, where you have the option to find a ride home. After that, you can see how many hours you will need to wait until you're safe to drive home.

“Our target audience are males 21-34 years old," Cole says. "They tend to be over-represented in the data when it comes to drinking and driving, but really our survey is going to be open to anybody that wants to apply to participate in the survey and receive one of these breathalyzers.”

CDOT will select 200 drivers for the study. The deadline to sign up is Friday, July 22.

You can sign-up


CDOT says if you're not part of the study, the breathalyzer costs $100, which they say is very minimal compared to the cost of a DUI.