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Colorado DOT selling questionable portable breathalyzers to first time DUI offenders


According to an article in the Colorado Sun, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has sold or given away 3,000 portable breathalyzers to first-time DUI offenders.

Why has the CDOT invested close to one million dollars in a portable breathalyzers?

The CDOT’s relationship with BACtrack under the guise of reducing impaired driving is extremely suspicious.  

CDOT spokesman Sam Cole said, “we’re trying to change the social norm around drinking and driving in this country by giving people a device that allows them to make smarter and better informed decisions.”

But does partnering with a private company that sells portable breathalyzers really allow people to make “smarter and more informed decisions”?

Last year, I warned everyone about an inaccurate million dollar portable breathalyzer, that the FTC called “deceptive and dangerous.” The AO1 Smartphone Breathalyzer or Breathometer was so inaccurate the FTC banned them from making breathalyzers or breathometer apps until they can be supported by rigorous testing.

How accurate is BACtrack?

The answer is complicated,  the Food and Drug Administration’s review of BACtrack warns:

“This device was not tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The sponsor performed their own testing and collected performance data using the NHTSA requirements for precision and accuracy as a guide.”

Did you catch that? BACtrack performed their own tests to verify its accuracy.

BACtrack also claims their portable breathalyzers have unparalleled accuracy and that’s pretty much it.  BACtrack’s claim of being the most accurate in independent portable breathalyzers brings you to a mass media love story featuring fluff news articles praising BACtrack.

BACtrack’s owners have to pay $24.99 for a breathalyzer calibration device that allegedly insures the device measures BAC levels accurately. Searching for BACtrac source code on their website came back with zero results, so there is no way of knowing how accurate it really is.

How accurate are police breathalyzers?

A recent article in ZDNet warns that research into a flawed source code for the Alcotest 9510 that is responsible for millions of DUI arrests was halted after legal pressure from the manufacturer.

In 2010 a Pennsylvania judge claimed the Intoxilyzer 5000EN was inaccurate and the state of Maine was forced to replace them. A Google search for “inaccurate breathalyzers” returned 136,000 hits.

Another red flag that should concern everyone is, why would BACtrack be used by DHS and why would they want customers to submit a picture of them using their product? (Click here to find out about DHS’s involvement in breathalyzers.)

BACtrack’s propaganda machine is in full swing as is evidenced by their wearable BAC bracelet called “SKYN.”

BACtrack’s SKYN bracelet is designed with one thing in mind, profit. According to their video, their main selling point is to replace ankle bracelets by creating a “cool” product that DUI offenders “would want to wear.”

I am surprised that the CDOT isn’t selling SKYN bracelets yet.

No one should trust breathalyzers without the public knowing their source code and DOT’s working with a private corporation to sell breathalyzers, screams impropriety.


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