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How a breathalyzer campaign helped reduce impaired driving

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, or CDOT, alcohol-impaired drivers cause almost a third of all fatal vehicle crashes in the state.

This statistic generated a unique six-week-long breathalyzer campaign in which DUI offenders participated. Reducing the number of impaired drivers was the goal and the results were encouraging.

About the campaign

In 2016, CDOT and the personal breathalyzer company BACtrack partnered on a first-of-its-kind program to provide personal breathalyzers to Colorado drivers already convicted of DUI. In exchange, these drivers returned information as to the effectiveness of the breathalyzers in preventing dangerous and deadly drinking and driving episodes. The “Before You Go, Know” campaign included almost 500 DUI offenders who no longer had suspended licenses or needed to use ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. Campaign organizers applauded the results: 84% of the campaign participants said that using the personal breathalyzers reduced their inclination to drive after drinking an alcoholic beverage.

Understanding differences

In the state of Colorado, there are two charges related to alcohol consumption and operating a motor vehicle. Driving under the influence, or DUI, means that law enforcement decided your alcohol consumption exceeded the legal limit of .08% and you were “substantially incapable” of driving. The lesser charge is DWAI: “driving while ability impaired.” When tested, this means your blood alcohol content level was between .05% and .079%.

Seeking help

CDOT data shows that more than 20,000 drivers are arrested annually in our state for driving under the influence of alcohol. If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of DUI/DWAI, explore your legal options without delay. An investigation of the circumstances may show possible administrative errors, or that equipment malfunction impacted the results of your breath test. While studies show that breathalyzers help reduce the number of drunk drivers on our roads, your legal team may find flaws in the charge against you. They will question the results in your case and work to provide the best outcome possible.

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