Soon families will be gathering, turkeys will be roasting and wine will be flowing throughout Colorado in celebration of another Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving is a time for rest and relaxation for some, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be hard at work cracking down on impaired driving from Tuesday, Nov. 26 through Monday, Dec. 2 as part of CDOT’s ongoing The Heat Is On campaign.
In 2012, 563 arrests were made and five alcohol-related fatalities occurred during the Thanksgiving enforcement period– a number much higher than CDOT and CSP would like to see this year. All five alcohol-related fatalities were males between the ages of 18 and 34.
“Colorado experienced five unnecessary alcohol-related deaths last Thanksgiving weekend, all of them representing a younger demographic,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Thanksgiving is a time for congregating with family and friends. We all play a role in helping loved ones make the right choice to not drive impaired; speak up and help arrange alternate transportation.”
Thanksgiving is the first of three impaired driving enforcement periods that occur over the holiday season.
“The goal of increased DUI enforcement is to protect families from losing a loved one to a crime that is totally preventable,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “As Coloradans travel throughout the state to partake in Thanksgiving festivities, law enforcement will be out in force doing everything possible to keep our roadways safe.”
The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 12 specific DUI enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. More details about the campaign, including DUI enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips, can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.