Personal Breathalyzers Tested To Prevent Repeated DUIs

Posted December 11, 2017

A 2010 survey claims that a DUI one-time offender in the United States is 615 percent more likely to repeat the offense than a person who has never had a DUI. It also claims that one-third of DUI offenders arrested are repeat offenders. In Colorado, statistics show that 40 percent of all DUI arrests are repeat offenders.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) decided they needed to come up with a solution for this problem, so they decided to test a new idea. They dispersed personal Breathalyzers to 475 residents who had prior DUI convictions. The Breathalyzers were to be used by the participants of the program after drinking to check to see if they were safe to drive before getting behind the wheel.

According to the department’s communications manager, the program worked. This was per surveys done on the participants after a summer-long implementation of the program. Of the participants, 75 percent claimed to have used their new Breathalyzer tool after drinking to determine their driving safety.

Only 9 percent of the participants believe they drove under the influence during the previous months on the program. This was a 19 percent decrease from the 28 percent that believed they had driven under the influence before having the Breathalyzers. One participant said he knew the rules about drinking before, but now claims, “…there is a big difference between how you feel and how impaired you actually are.”

There was only one participant in the study that was convicted of a repeat offense of driving drunk during the period — likely one of the 25 percent of participants who did not use their Breathalyzer.

You should know that if you are arrested on a DUI charge in Colorado, it is an automatic driver’s license suspension. If you are convicted of a first offense, the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for nine months, and you will be subject to a fine. A DUI charge, even a first offense, is not something you want on your record. If you have been arrested, there are defense attorneys who may be able to have the charges thrown out or reduced.

Source:  Miami Herald, “After their DUI arrests, they were given personal breathalyzers – and it worked, surveys say,” Jared Gilmour, Dec. 1, 2017