There is no question that drunk driving remains a serious problem. Despite constantly evolving laws and serious penalties, drunk drivers are still a major cause of car accidents that result in injuries or fatalities. Last year alone, Jefferson, Adams and Weld counties saw 55 drunk driving accident fatalities, and many more injuries.
To combat this problem, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is putting new technology into action: smartphone breathalyzers.
Stopping Repeat DUI Offenders
According to an article from Fox 31 Denver, 40 percent of the 21,000 drivers arrested for DUI last year were repeat offenders. For that reason, they are the target for a study involving this new smartphone breathalyzer technology.
Last year in a similar study, CDOT recruited people from the general population to try out smartphone breathalyzers. More than 200 people were involved, and 84 percent said that the technology lowered the risk of driving drunk. This summer, CDOT is reaching out specifically to 200 first-time DUI offenders and asking them to try out the technology, with the goal of preventing repeat offenses. Participants will be surveyed and use of the cellphone breathalyzer will be monitored.
Will It Make A Difference?
Obviously, these tests are taking place on a relatively small scale, so only time will tell if this technology will make a difference in preventing drunk driving wrecks. Meanwhile, people must use caution and not drive drunk and be watchful for intoxicated drivers. Victims of drunk drivers should also be aware that they have recourse and may be able to seek compensation in a personal injury claim.