Drivers encouraged to plan ahead with alternate transportation this New Year’s
Once again, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) will team up with 76 law enforcement agencies throughout Colorado to increase DUI enforcement from Friday, Dec. 27 through Thursday, Jan. 2. During last year’s New Year’s Eve enforcement period, 501 people were arrested on Colorado roadways for DUI and there were two alcohol-related fatalities.
The enforcement period follows the most recent crackdown surrounding this year’s holiday parties, which spanned from Dec. 6 through Dec. 16 and resulted in 652 arrests. Preliminary data shows that there were two alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities from the same period.
“New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the year that’s past and to look forward to the future,” says Amy Ford, Director of Communications at CDOT. “It marks the beginning of a new year with endless possibilities. Historically, it can also be a very dangerous time to be on the roads and we want to do everything we can to keep Coloradans safe.”
In 2012, there were 9,784 DUI arrests reported through The Heat is On campaign—a number much higher than Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, wants to see as 2013 comes to a close.
“The fewer arrests we make, the happier we are,” says Col. Hernandez. “We want those numbers to decrease as the years go by because it means that people are planning ahead and taking safe rides home after drinking.”
The average blood alcohol content (BAC) of all DUI arrests in 2012 was 0.18—more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT, emphasizes that this further stresses the importance of not putting others in danger by driving impaired.
“The most important thing is that every user of Colorado roadways has the opportunity for a safe start to 2014,” says Lingk. “We encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly and avoid unnecessary arrests and fatalities. Many areas in Colorado have dependable alternatives to driving, such as Uber,1-800-taxicab.com and public transit.”
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.