Labor Day marked the unofficial close of summer, and for the many arrested for driving impaired on Colorado roadways the end-of-summer celebrations came to an abrupt finish. The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) The Heat Is On campaign along with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and law enforcement agencies across the state have reported that 1,342 people were arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) during the Labor Day enforcement period, from Aug. 16 to Sept. 3. There were nine alcohol-related fatalities preliminarily reported during this period.
“The Labor Day crackdown is one of the annual enforcement periods where we see significant increases in impaired driving arrests,” says Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “We are very thankful to have law enforcement officials who put in extra effort to keep our roads safe during one of the busiest travel times of the year.”
This summer, The Heat Is On campaign adopted an unprecedented new tagline – “Drink & Don’t Drive” – and the phrase was seen throughout Colorado during the month of August. A mobile billboard traveled around Denver and Fort Collins, hitting hotspots such as the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field, Colorado Rockies games and Tour de Fat in Fort Collins. The campaign also took advantage of a particularly unique outreach tool – the Interactive Urinal Communicator (IUC), which featured a 15-second audio message encouraging male bar patrons to avoid driving impaired and instead look to other alternatives to getting home, such as public transit, 1-800-TAXICAB or Uber. These IUCs were distributed to local bars throughout the Front Range, such as Thunder Mountain Tavern in Grand Junction, Falling Rock Tap House in Denver, and East Side Tavern in Pueblo.
“This year’s Labor Day crackdown had more than 100 law enforcement agencies protecting Coloradans from impaired drivers,” says Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We will once again be ramping up our efforts surrounding the upcoming holiday season as we continue to stress the importance of avoiding impaired driving of any kind – alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs and illegal drugs.”
The Heat Is On campaign runs the entire year with 12 specific impaired driving enforcement periods targeting national holidays and large, public events. More details about these enforcement periods and arrest results can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com