CDOT offering personal Breathalyzers to participants in study

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DENVER -- The Colorado Department of Transportation is giving away personal Breathalyzers as part of a study on drinking and driving.

While most drivers know if your blood alcohol level is .08 percent and above you're caught behind the wheel, you face DUI charges. But many drivers might not know you can also get in trouble blowing between .05 to .08 percent in Colorado.

That’s a DWAI: Driving while ability impaired. The consequences are less severe than a DUI. But drivers caught with a .05 to .08 BAC could still be arrested and face fines in Colorado.

“I had no idea about that,” Bre Glasbrenner said. “I'm glad you informed me.”

“I hadn't [known about it] until you said it,” Nic Johnson said.

Transplants such as Glasbrenner and Johnson are flocking to Colorado.

“We're from Wisconsin originally and the drunk driving rules are much different there,” Johnson said.

And CDOT wants to remind new drivers in Colorado that getting behind the wheel after one or two drinks could still cost you.

“It`s become blase,” CDOT spokesman Sam Cole said. “People don't really pay much attention to that [don’t drink and drive] message anymore. So now, we're trying to really empower people to take action.”

That’s where personal Breathalyzers come in. The Bluetooth-enabled "BACtrack" syncs with your smartphone and sends you the results. It will estimate your blood alcohol level and even tell you what time you’ll likely be sober again, if you stop drinking.

The device typically costs $100. But CDOT is giving away 200 of them to participants in a study.

“Itll actually tell us just how effective these things are,” Cole said. “Did they reduce the number of drinks they had before they drove because of the reading that they might have gotten off one of these?”

Cole said CDOT has already received about 500 applications. It will select 200 people at random. Those interested can apply online.

Participants must be older than 21 and must live in Colorado. If chosen, you agree to complete three online surveys and after completion of the study, you’ll get to keep the device.

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