CDOT Hopes Smartphone Breathalyzers Might Be Another Tool Against DUIs

Will carrying a breathalyzer help keep people from driving drunk? Findings from the Colorado Department of Transportation seem to suggest that’s the case.

CDOT gave 225 anonymously chosen young adults smartphone breath alcohol testers to use over the summer. Seventy-nine percent of the participants said they had likely driven drunk at some point in the past. However, only 12 percent reporting driving while impaired during the course of the survey.

That’s very significant and warrants further study,” said CDOT spokesman Sam Cole. “We think we got some good results, but would love for a more scientific institution to take it up.”

Being able to see their actual blood alcohol readings was eye-opening for participants. The average blood alcohol concentration reported was 0.087 percent – above the state’s legal limit of 0.08. Cole said respondents told researchers they were surprised to learn how few drinks could put the over the legal limit.

Cole acknowledges that CDOT’s research was not conducted to academic standards. They are, however, encouraging people to bring breath alcohol testers with them when drinking away from home.