In addition to the survey, CDOT also conducted an experiment to determine how young adults view drunk driving. The experiment, called “A Few Brews – Social Experiment,” found that most people gave little thought to a driver getting behind the wheel even after several drinks.
What are the findings of the CDOT survey?
As a part of a 2016 campaign to curb drunk driving, CDOT conducted research about the use of smartphone breathalyzers. As a part of this research, they conducted a survey of more than 220 young people in Denver. The results of this survey were somewhat surprising. They included:
- 92 percent knew the legal limit for a DUI in Colorado
- Only 47 percent knew the 0.05 BAC limit for a driving while ability impaired (DWAI)
- 79 percent said there is a possibility they have driven while over the legal limit
- 92 percent said they have probably ridden with a driver over the legal limit
The survey was a part of a program that distributed 225 smartphone breathalyzers to randomly selected participants. Researchers followed up with the participants after several weeks of use, and found:
- 84 percent agreed that using a smartphone breathalyzer lowered their risk of driving while over the legal limit
- 82 percent agreed that anyone who drinks should have access to a similar device
- Only 12 percent believed they might have driven while impaired during the study, versus 79 percent before
What was the purpose of “A Few Brews – Social Experiment”?
Many young people have no idea how little it takes to push someone over the legal limit. This is why CDOT conducted “A Few Brews – Social Experiment.” This experiment took an unassuming group of young people between the ages of 21 and 35 on what they believed to be a brewery tour.
During the tour, these people witnessed their driver drinking a number of beers, yet continued getting back in the van with him behind the wheel. This confirmed the hypothesis that many young people do not consider a “few beers” to be enough to impair driving.
When they learned the true nature of the experiment, many expressed shock at how little thought they gave the driver’s behavior.
How big of a problem is drunk driving in Colorado?
Drunk driving is a serious issue in Colorado, and nationwide. Drunk drivers cause about one out of every three traffic fatalities in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In Colorado alone, more than 1,700 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents between 2003 and 2012.
In 2015 (according to preliminary data), CDOT reported 6,697 total drunk driving crashes. Luckily, 3,849 of these accidents involved only property damage. There were, however, 2,712 injury crashes and 136 fatal crashes caused by drunk drivers statewide. These crashes led to 3,916 injuries and 154 fatalities in 2015.
How can you reduce your risk?
The key to avoiding being in a drunk driving accident is to never drink and drive. You should also never ride with someone else who has been drinking.
To ensure you are safe to drive, CDOT recommends investing in a personal smartphone breathalyzer to accurately determine your level of impairment before getting behind the wheel.
CDOT also urges regular drinkers to download the R-U-Buzzed BAC calculator app. This app relies on users to input correct information such as height, weight, and drink volume, so it is not as accurate as a breathalyzer. However, it can give you a good estimate of how impaired you may be. This can greatly reduce your risk of being in a drunk driving accident.
What about marijuana use?
With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, it became even more important to know your limits.
Mixing marijuana and alcohol and then getting behind the wheel can be especially dangerous. While the penalties for a DUI are the same no matter if you mix these substances, the effects are much stronger.
This means you are likely much more impaired, and more likely to cause a serious accident. If you drive impaired and cause a fatal crash or injury accident, you will face more serious legal penalties as well as the threat of civil action.
How can the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya, LLC help after a Colorado drunk driving accident?
If you suffered injuries in a drunk or impaired driving accident, we can help you hold the at-fault driver liable for your medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. At the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya, LLC, we understand how difficult it is to recover from this type of experience, both physically and emotionally. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call our office today at 303-758-4777 to schedule your free, no-obligation case review.