Fewer alcohol-related fatalities continues as goal for CDOT and law enforcement
New Year’s Eve celebrations quickly turned sour for many users of Colorado roadways who chose to ring in 2014 by driving impaired. Preliminary reports indicate that 431 people were arrested for DUI during the New Year’s Eve enforcement period in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) ongoing The Heat Is On impaired driving prevention campaign. The New Year’s Eve crackdown began on Friday, Dec. 27, and lasted through Thursday, Jan. 2. Arrest totals in 2013 were lower than the 2012 New Year’s Eve enforcement period, when 501 people were arrested for DUI. During the 2013 New Year’s Eve enforcement period, there was one alcohol-related fatality
In encouraging Coloradans to “Drink and Don’t Drive,” CDOT supports an individual’s right to celebrate, so long as they do so responsibly and don’t put the lives of others in danger. Overall, 6,989 people were arrested during 12 enforcement periods in 2013, a 28% decrease from the 9,784 arrests reported during the same enforcement periods in 2012.
“Our troopers operate under the mission of keeping Colorado safe, first and foremost,” says Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We hope that people continue to hear the message about the dangers of driving impaired. Being arrested for DUI is a real nightmare—it’s expensive, it can result in loss of driving privileges and it’s incredibly dangerous for the individual and those around them.”
“It’s comforting to know that CSP and many other top-notch Colorado law enforcement agencies are doing their part to keep impaired drivers off Colorado roads,” says Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Each year we strive for zero fatalities—2014 is no exception.”
Preliminary reports show that the highest arrest totals came from the Denver Police Department (49 arrests), Aurora Police Department (36 arrests), Colorado Springs Police Department (28 arrests) and Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (26 arrests).
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.