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Reducing drunk driving and keeping the streets safe - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Reducing drunk driving and keeping the streets safe

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation this year so far 193 people have died in impaired driving crashes. 

That's an increase of 23  from the 170 fatalities caused by impaired driving in 2016.

CDOT says that each day Colorado law enforcement agencies make an average of 60 impaired driver arrests. In 2016 that daily arrest number totaled 21,000 by the end of the year. Of those 21,000, 40% or 8,400 people had a prior DUI on record. 

It is the party season, with Christmas right ahead, which can mean that a lot of folks will be doing a lot of drinking. So what's providing the safety counterbalance to all that extra alcohol being consumed? 

There are two big counterbalances. First, law enforcement agencies in Colorado ramp up their DUI crackdowns during this time of year. Last year state agencies made 568 arrests during this period. That's an average of 57 arrests per day. 

Now keep in mind that a DUI can cost a person more than $13,500 dollars. This means that last year's arrests may very well have cost drivers a collective 7.6 million dollars. 

The second thing that can keep yourself and other drivers safe during this extra alcohol intake period, is the addition or gift of a breathalyzer. 

CDOT has just recently finished a study that targeted 475 DUI offenders in which  each participant was given a breathalyzer. 

Before the program, 28% of participants indicated they may have driven impaired but after the program that number dropped to 9%. 

Additionally, before the program 42% of participants thought they could drive after a few drinks, but afterwords only 30% maintained that notion.

Finally, 94% of participants agreed that anyone who regularly drinks should own a breathalyzer because having the data regarding your sobriety on hand provides quite the deterrent against impaired driving.

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