"Know Your Limits" Program Allowed Waldo Bar Patrons to Test Their Blood Alcohol Concentration

Waldo– Last month the Kansas City Star published an article about the "Know Your Limits" program that was put on by the Kansas City police. One Friday evening in October Kansas City police provided breath tests to willing participants at a local bar in Waldo.

One such volunteer said he had five beers and didn't feel intoxicated, he said he felt like he could put his hands on the wheel. That was until he participated in the new program called Know Your Limits, which is where police and drinkers collaborated to test their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and compare it with the drinker's perceived level of intoxication. The man blew into the breath testing device held by the police officer and he was surprised to discover that he registered at .126, which is above the legal limit of .08 percent.

The volunteer said that if he hadn't seen the numbers he would have thought he was okay to drive, he also said that he's glad he's getting a ride home.

There were literally dozens of happy volunteers that agreed to take breath tests outside of Tanner's Bar & Grill near 75th Street from around 8:15 to 11:00 p.m. that evening. Since it was a community based event that involved willing participants, the police promised the volunteers that they would not issue any tickets, nor there any repercussions for the participants. The police also didn't want the bar's customers to think they were going to follow them home so they left well before the bar closed.

One Kansas City resident and her spouse purposely went to Tanner's that evening just to participate in the program. After drinking three beers and feeling buzzed, she was surprised to find out that she only registered at .02 percent. She said that it backfired on her and that she used to think she couldn't driver after two beers. However, Police Sergeant Ron Podraza told her that she could still be impaired, even if her BAC was below the legal limit.

Podraza was surprised at the overwhelming response to the event and how well it was received by the bar's customers, some of whom even lined up to be tested. The highest reading to register that evening was .227, which is nearly three times the legal limit. Fortunately that man lived nearby and planned to walk home that evening. The Kansas City Police Captain Bob Zimmerman said that he hoped the program would open people's eyes and get them thinking before they get behind the wheel again.

The first time the program was tried was by Scottsdale police back in 2009. Part of the program included handing out a card with information about the effects of alcohol on different body weights, and other information about taxi cab companies with fares for common destinations was included as well, all of which are cheaper than a DUI arrest said Podraza.

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