News

Spring into action: plan sober rides

April 1, 2021 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Impaired drivers were involved in nearly 33% of all motor vehicle deaths in 2020

STATEWIDE — Spring brings a welcomed glimpse into warmer weather, offering Coloradans and tourists myriad outdoor activities that make our state a desirable place to live and visit. To remind the traveling public to stay responsible on state roads and highways during their spring plans, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will conduct the Spring DUI enforcement period from April 2 to May 10.

Safety remains a top priority for all CDOT initiatives. CDOT urges Coloradans to continue to take precautions when around people outside of their household to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

As temperatures warm and more Coloradans are vaccinated, we expect more people to be on our roadways. Everyone is eager to get back to normal, but this isn't an excuse to be careless if consuming alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs,” said Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “Make a plan before you consume an impairing substance. Your decision boils down to being responsible or being reckless. Never put an innocent life in harm’s way.”

Last year’s Spring DUI enforcement period resulted in 468 DUI arrests. This year, 84 law enforcement agencies are planning to increase DUI patrols. Removing impaired drivers from Colorado roads before they crash is the goal of the campaign. This saves lives and helps everyone get home alive.   

During the recent St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement, 101 agencies arrested 206 impaired drivers. This is an increase from last year’s 195 arrests during the same enforcement period. The Colorado Springs Police Department (33 arrests), CSP/Troop 1-A Golden (11 arrests), Denver Police Department (10 arrests), and Lakewood Police Department (10 arrests) recorded the highest number of arrests during the enforcement. The Colorado State Patrol made 35 arrests. Results for all law enforcement agencies across the state can be found at https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal

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Last year, impaired drivers were involved in nearly 33% of all fatal crashes in Colorado. This resulted in the deaths of 208 roadway users in the state, including pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers. As of March 31, 2021, 34 fatalities in Colorado have involved an impaired driver this year. This is a decrease from the 40 fatalities that occurred between Jan. 1 - March 31, 2020. 

DUI Deaths

“The excuse of not knowing if you are impaired is not acceptable. Consuming any amount of alcohol or marijuana puts you at risk of a DUI,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “If you plan to drink, it’s your responsibility to be proactive before getting behind the wheel and plan for a sober ride home. If you see someone reach for their keys after drinking, speak up and don’t let them drive.”

Find local agency plans and total arrests for The Heat Is On enforcement periods at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal. Information about DUI laws in Colorado can be found at NoDUIColorado.org

About The Heat is On

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 16 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. Find more details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips at HeatIsOnColorado.com. More information about DUI laws in Colorado can be found at NoDUIColorado.org. Learn more about CDOT’s dedication to keeping Colorado roads safe, including impaired driving enforcement objectives, arrest data and safety information at codot.gov/safety.

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.