Weekend DUI Enforcements Start
As people head outside to celebrate the unofficial start of summer, the Department of Transportation and statewide law enforcement agencies will increase patrols and utilize DUI checkpoints this weekend for the Memorial Day DUI enforcement period. Starting tomorrow, May 25, and running through Tuesday, May 29, almost 100 agencies will participate in The Heat Is On enforcement.
Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead for a sober ride to and from their holiday festivities.
Preliminary data indicates that of the 193 statewide roadway fatalities so far in 2018, 36 percent (69) involved impaired drivers.
During last year’s Memorial Day weekend enforcement period, 98 law enforcement agencies cited 332 motorists for DUI. The increased patrols aim to crack down on impaired drivers over the holiday weekend, when activities such as concerts, barbeques and graduation parties commonly involve alcohol consumption.
The Heat Is On isn’t the only special enforcement effort underway. The annaul statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign is in effect through June 3. In a coordinated effort between CDOT, CSP and 80 statewide law enforcement agencies, the high-visibility seat belt enforcement began May 21. Learn more about CDOT’s seat belt campaign at codot.gov/safety/seatbelts-carseats.
“Last May, 25 people were killed on Colorado roads in impairment-related crashes. That accounted for nearly 50 percent of all road fatalities that month and the third highest total of any month in 2017,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “With warmer summer months ahead, CDOT hopes drivers make plans for a sober ride home before heading out to parties and events where they will consume alcohol.”
The Heat Is On campaign recently completed a five-week spring DUI enforcement period, which totaled 1,850 DUI arrests from 95 law enforcement agencies. This was a decrease from the 1,958 arrests during the same enforcement period last year. The Colorado Springs Police Department (199), Denver Police Department (175) and Aurora Police Department (128) recorded the highest arrest totals.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs significantly impairs a person’s ability to drive,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP. “Consuming any amount of alcohol or other drugs can cause impairment. If you are ever unsure if you are safe to drive, always opt for a sober ride home — you could save lives.”
The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired-driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year, with 14 specific high-visibility impaired-driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired-driving enforcement.
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