News

Tomorrow DUI enforcement ramps up as summer winds down

August 17, 2021 - Statewide Traffic Safety - 36% of traffic fatalities involve a suspected impaired driver

(Spanish version available here)

STATEWIDE — Summer will soon come to a close, but driving impaired is never in season. The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies are coming together for a late summer DUI campaign from Aug. 18 to Sept. 6. Additional patrols will be stationed statewide to remove impaired drivers from the roads ahead of and during the Labor Day holiday weekend. 

“We are aware that late summer is a chance for people to enjoy summer activities before fall arrives later in September,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP. “Unfortunately, we see a spike in impaired driving fatal crashes during the summer. These occasions can easily end with a fatal crash due to the careless and entirely preventable decision to drive impaired. Please hold your loved ones accountable to help keep our roads a safe place to travel.”

This year, there have been 133 traffic fatalities that have involved a suspected impaired driver. That is 36% of all traffic fatalities so far this year.  Counties with the highest number of impaired fatalities are: Denver (14), Adams (12), Arapahoe (11), Jefferson (11), El Paso (10), and Pueblo (10). Last year 212 traffic fatalities involved a suspected impaired driver on Colorado roads in 2020. There were 622 traffic fatalities overall.   Data from previous years in included in the chart below.

 
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During the same enforcement period last year, 104 participating law enforcement agencies arrested 694 impaired drivers. Local law enforcement agency plans and arrest results across the state can be found at https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal

“Choosing when to get behind the wheel can be a life or death decision,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “When alcohol or marijuana is present, there is always a choice to make, and the decision affects more people than just the driver. Please be mindful of the decision at hand to never drive impaired — lives depend on it.” 

For yearly impaired-driving crash and fatality data in Colorado, visit https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety/crash-data-management/fatal-crash-data. 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.