As fireworks filled the night sky over Fourth of July weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) joined forces with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies to saturate Colorado’s roadways with DUI patrols arresting 271 drivers for impaired driving. The increased DUI enforcement period, part of CDOT’s The Heat Is On campaign, ran from Friday, July 3, until Monday, July 6. Aiming to keep Colorado’s roads safe during the holiday weekend, 93 local law enforcement agencies pitched in with increased enforcement efforts including sobriety checkpoints, heightened patrols and more.
The DUI arrests are a decrease from the 303 drivers arrested during the 2014 Fourth of July weekend enforcement. A recent study by Project Know found that when compared to other states, Colorado is the third most likely state where you’ll be arrested for a DUI, per capita. Over 24,000 impaired driving arrests were made in 2014.
“It’s unfortunate that the drivers arrested for DUI had to spoil an otherwise beautiful 4th of July weekend by acting irresponsibly and getting behind the wheel while impaired,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “What most of these drivers don’t realize is that they aren’t only a danger to themselves, but to everyone else on the road.”
“About one-third of fatal crashes in Colorado involve an impaired driver,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “These DUI enforcement periods are essential in preventing those crashes and improving the safety of our roads overall.” State Patrol arrested 49 drivers, Aurora Police arrested 27 drivers, and Denver and Colorado Springs police departments each had 20 DUI arrests during the period.
The Heat Is On campaign continues throughout the summer with additional enforcement periods planned for Labor Day and into September. Checkpoint Colorado enforcement is currently running through Labor Day with participating law enforcement agencies conducting DUI checkpoints during the period.
The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 12 specific high visibility impaired driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. More details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.