October 05, 2016

CDOT Study Finds Personal Breathalyzers Have the Potential to Decrease Drunk Driving

BACtrack® Mobile units were distributed to 225 participants; 84% agree owning a smartphone breathalyzer lowers their risk for a DUI, and improves decision-making while drinking.


BACtrack partnered with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in a first-of-its-kind study examining the effect breathalyzers may have on drinking habits and decision making.

The study was created to determine if using a breathalyzer changed behavior when it comes to drinking and driving. CDOT also sought to raise awareness about impaired driving and help drivers understand how quickly they can reach the DWAI (0.05% BAC level) or DUI (0.08% BAC level) limits.

CDOT enlisted 225 study participants randomly selected from more than 1,500 applicants. Participants received a BACtrack Mobile, used the device, and completed three surveys with questions about drinking habits and their breathalyzer usage. Participant BAC data was also collected with permission via the BACtrack app.

Initial survey data revealed alarming realities:

  • While 92 percent knew the .08 BAC limit for a DUI, more than half (53%) were unaware of Colorado’s Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) BAC limit of 0.05% percent.
  • 79% of participants indicated they might have driven a car while above the legal driving limit.
  • 92% of participants thought they had been a passenger with a driver above the legal limit. 

Results from the final survey were much more positive:

  • The percentage of participants that indicated they might have driven a car while above the legal driving limit went from 79% initially reported to 12%.
  • 84% of participants agreed that owning a smartphone breathalyzer lowered their risk for a DUI/DWAI.
  • 82% of participants agreed anyone who regularly drinks should own a breathalyzer.
Throughout the program, participants recorded 4,823 readings and averaged a BAC of .087 percent, above Colorado’s .08 percent BAC limit for a DUI.

    Watch the video and hear what participants have to say about their experience and tell us: does owning a smartphone breathalyzer lower your risk for a DUI?

    1 comment

    • I have the current BAC and yes it has kept me from driving even though I thought that I was ok. I really like it. I have a friend that has one and together this keeps us safe. Love it.

      unknown on

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