Heat Is On Campaign Reminds Coloradans to Celebrate July 4 Responsibly
As Coloradans make plans for the Fourth of July, 96 law enforcement agencies and Colorado State Patrol Troops across the state fire up plans for sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols to keep our roads safe from impaired drivers. The crackdown begins tomorrow at 6 p.m. and runs through 3 a.m. on Monday, July 8. The effort is part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Heat Is On campaign, which pairs heightened enforcement with public education.
“Be smart about your decisions this weekend,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Planning ahead to designate a sober driver is the easiest way to make sure you keep yourself and others out of harms way. Last year, there were seven alcohol-related fatalities that occurred over the July 4 weekend in Colorado. This year, our goal is none.”
In 2012, 14 Colorado residents were killed in the month of July because of an alcohol-related automobile crashes. And during last year’s July 4 heightened enforcement period, 632 Colorado residents were arrested for impaired driving.
“It is zero tolerance for any person driving impaired on our roads,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “The summer months are typically the most dangerous on our roadways and together with our partner law enforcement agencies, our goal is to stop drivers that choose to make the irresponsible and potentially deadly decision to drive while impaired.”
This summer’s Heat Is On campaign features a new approach to educating the public on impaired driving. In the past, CDOT has focused on enforcement-related messages as a way to deter impaired driving. The new approach acknowledges that many Coloradans do drink when celebrating holidays with family and friends. The goal is to effect whether or not they make the decision to drive. The campaign kicks off over the Fourth of July enforcement period with radio and will be fully unveiled in August in time for the Labor Day DUI crackdown.
The Heat Is On campaign will come to life at Rockies games and concerts this summer by signing up designated drivers. CDOT is also promoting alternatives to driving through this campaign, including the RTD bus and light rail system, 1800taxicab.com, and through a partnership with Uber, and on-demand private driver. For the week of the Fourth of July, Uber will give current customers a free ride up to $20 for anyone who refers a new user to the program, and the new user will also receive a free ride up to $20.
The Heat Is On runs the entire year with 12 specific DUI enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large, public events. More details about the DUI enforcement plans and arrest results can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.