Friday, December 13, 2019

New Report: Suicide Among Youth Ages 10-18 in Colorado 2013 - 2017

In collaboration with the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System, the Violence and Injury Prevention - Mental Health Promotion Branch has recently released a new report: "Suicide among Youth in Colorado, 2013-2017: Ages 10-18." This report looks at data through an equity lens and offers upstream and comprehensive suicide prevention recommendations.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Opportunity: Reimagine RTD Youth Engagement

RTD is encouraging existing youth groups, clubs, or organizations to apply as well as individual youth who are interested in transportation issues. All applications should be submitted ­­­­by December 23, 2019.

For existing youth committees, groups, or clubs, CLICK HERE to apply.
For individual youth that are not affiliated with a particular group, CLICK HERE to apply.

Please email Jyotsna Khattri or Kimberly Ford at with any questions about the application or the youth engagement process. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

GHSA: New Report Shows Impaired Driving Remains Major Highway Safety Problem Nationwide

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December 9, 2019
CONTACT: Joe Feese, 202-580-7930
New Report Calls for "Individualized Justice" Approach to Targeting High-Risk Impaired Drivers
One-Third of All Impaired Driving Deaths Caused by Repeat Offenders
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Even as our nation’s roadways are becoming safer, impaired driving remains a major highway safety problem nationwide. A new report released today by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) in partnership with calls for a systemic and holistic approach to high-risk impaired drivers that focuses on the individual and the need to treat the underlying problem prompting the unsafe behavior.

The spotlight report, High-Risk Impaired Drivers: Combating a Critical Threat, seeks to help State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) and their partners effectively address the problem of high-risk impaired drivers. The report notes that alcohol-impaired fatalities accounted for 29 percent of all U.S. motor vehicle deaths in 2018, the lowest percentage since 1982, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began reporting alcohol data. But even with this progress, in 2018 an average of one alcohol impaired driving fatality occurred every 50 minutes, which translates to 29 deaths each day. By shining the spotlight on high-risk impaired drivers, the report seeks to prevent repeat offenders and reduce the number of fatalities.

A high-risk impaired driver is a person who lacks the restraint or self-control to resist driving impaired. These drivers meet one or more of three criteria: 
  • Drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 g/dL or higher after consuming alcohol
  • Have consumed a combination of drugs and alcohol (polysubstance user)
  • Are repeat offenders (i.e., have more than one DUI arrest)

The high-risk impaired driver population accounts for a disproportionate number of fatalities. Repeat offenders cause about a third of impaired driving deaths each year, while high BAC offenders are involved in more than 60 percent of alcohol-impaired fatalities. In 2018, 66 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes had a BAC greater than 0.15 g/dL. Alcohol, however, is not the only impairing substance, as there has been a 16 percent increase over the past 10 years in the number of impaired drivers killed in crashes who tested positive for both alcohol and other drugs. 

Many of these offenders have not only a substance use disorder, but also a mental health disorder, according to research conducted by Cambridge Health Alliance at Harvard Medical School. The latter, however, often goes undetected.

“The traditional criminal justice approach holds these offenders accountable for each impaired driving incident, but to ensure that these high-risk impaired drivers don’t re-offend, we need to expand our approach beyond detection, arrest and conviction,” said Darrin Grondel, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Chair of GHSA. “The aim of this new report is to encourage states and their partners to take a more holistic approach to the problem by identifying and treating the cause of the offender’s behavior to reduce recidivism and promote long-term behavior change.” 

According to criminal justice experts, individualized justice is more effective at deterring high-risk impaired drivers than the typical legislative response of heavy fines and incarceration. In addition to screening and assessment, this approach calls for testing drivers for the presence of not only alcohol, but also other drugs. Many drug-impaired drivers escape detection, however, due to limitations with enforcement practices or policies that do not require drug testing. Additionally, many states lack the toxicology resources necessary to process drug screenings. 

“Right now, our approach is to catch, convict and punish the high-risk impaired drivers and then release them. It’s a cookie-cutter approach that doesn’t treat the underlying problem,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO of and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). “Instead, we need to identify the root cause of each individual’s behavior and then determine what treatment along with sanctions should be administered so that we break this cycle and prevent impaired driving deaths.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Opportunity: Young Adult Advisory Committee

Calling Young Adult Drivers aged 16-21 years of age!

Help us create a new virtual reality experience for young adult drivers!
Our company, Innovation Research & Training, is recruiting a youth advisory committee to inform the creation of a new interactive online program to help prevent impaired driving (including distracted driving and alcohol- and drug-impaired driving) among drivers 16-21 years old. We need help from young adults to generate ideas for realistic scenarios and scripts for the program and to give us feedback on what the program looks like.
Hourly rate: $12.50
You qualify for the advisory committee if you are:
  • 16-21 years old
  • Have a driver’s license or permit, or are currently learning to drive
  • Have reliable access to a phone and computer with internet access
  • Able to commit up to 8 hours of time for phone, virtual, or in-person (if local) meetings
  • Have your parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate in the advisory committee if you are under the age of 18
Steps to joining the committee:
  1. Complete application
  2. Complete brief phone interview
  3. Receive notification of selection to the committee, if selected
  4. Sign and return contract.
  5. If you are under the age of 18, return contract with all required permissions from your parent or legal guardian.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Opportunity: Colorado Healthy Youth Campaign Seeking Youth Panelists - Apply Now!

Youth Panelists needed!
Panelists can participate from anywhere in the state and will be paid $5 per poll and $15 per survey (via a Target/Amazon/etc gift card) and can earn up to $105 between December 2019 and June 2020. They will also have chances to win prizes for challenges and activities in their community. We are looking for diverse perspectives and young people from all backgrounds. Young people ages 12-20 can visit to submit a brief application. For priority consideration, youth should submit their applications by December 16th, 2019.

Help us recruit young people ages 12-20 for an online panel! 
SE2 is creating a panel of young people from across Colorado to provide real-time input on youth lifestyles and culture. We want to know more about the concerns and challenges youth face today. Youth panelists will participate in quick weekly online polls and have an opportunity to give input on materials for the Healthy Youth Campaign, including messages and ads. Members of the panel can also participate in content-creation challenges and local activations that will promote the campaign in their school or community. 

Opportunity: The Driver Behavior Change Seed Grant Program is Now Available

Safe States recently partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop Strategies to Address Shared Risk and Protective Factors for Driver Safety. This new resource document aligns the public health approach with motor vehicle safety efforts to identify practices that have the highest potential to address multiple types of risky driving behavior simultaneously.

With additional support from NHTSA, Safe States is offering an opportunity for teams to put the findings and recommendations from the resource document into action. Through a competitive application process, Safe States will select and provide up to four Safety Teams with $35,000 in seed grant funds to participate in a national learning community, implement, and evaluate strategies in their communities that enhance motor vehicle safety efforts by addressing shared risk and protective factors, with an emphasis on behavior change.

Multidisciplinary Safety Teams consisting of public health and traffic safety professionals at the state and/or local level will be funded to develop and implement activities based on one or more strategies referenced in the resource document. These strategies are intended to address multiple risky driving behaviors simultaneously by minimizing risk factors and strengthening protective factors that affect driver behavior. Selected Safety Teams will participate in a two-year program that includes five (5) distinct components:
  1. Virtual Training Sessions: Each Safety Team will participate in two virtual training sessions, tentatively set for March 2020 and April 2020, to learn concepts for defining and applying a shared risk and protective factor approach to motor vehicle safety initiatives.
  2. In-person Workshops: Each Safety Team will participate in two different Driver Behavior Change Workshops. Each Workshop will take place over a two-day period (12 total training hours per workshop) in Washington D.C..
    1. Workshop #1 will take place in May 2020. The primary goal is to help Safety Teams develop an action plan for implementing an intervention or strategy that addresses risky driving behaviors and develop a plan to evaluate the identified intervention or strategy.
    2. Workshop #2 will take place in November 2020. The primary goal is to provide Safety Teams with additional training sessions to support existing program implementation and evaluation activities.
  3. Peer-based Coaching and Technical Assistance: Each Safety Team will be assigned one injury and violence prevention (IVP) public health practitioner as a peer-based coach and one traffic safety professional as a peer-based coach.
  4. Seed Grants: Each Safety Team will receive a seed grant award of up to $35,000. Safety Teams will use these awards to support team strategy implementation and evaluation activities.
  5. Evaluation: The Safe States Alliance will conduct an evaluation of the program, which will include an evaluation of the Driver Behavior Change Workshops and a multi-site evaluation of selected Safety Team interventions. Safety Teams will be responsible for actively participating in the evaluation process, including participation in data collection opportunities such as surveys, key informant interviews, or focus groups. The evaluation is scheduled for completion by May 2022.
Click here to view the full program description, details about team activities and composition, eligibility criteria, program timeline, application requirements, and instructions to submit your letter of intent. A letter of intent must be submitted in order to receive an invitation to apply.
Learn More

Technical Assistance Conference Call

Learn more about the Driver Behavior Change Seed Grant Program and how to apply by registering for the technical assistance call on December 17, 2019 at 2:00 PM ET.
Additional questions about this opportunity should be directed to Ina Robinson, MPH, Program Manager at the Safe States Alliance.

Friday, December 6, 2019

CDOT: Holiday Parties DUI Enforcement Starts Today!



Sam Cole, CDOT Communications Manager
303.757-9484 (desk) | 303-859-1304 (cell)

Dec. 5, 2019

CDOT, law enforcement shine a light on holiday-season DUIs with caroling officers and “DUI Tree”
Holiday Parties DUI enforcement starts Friday

STATEWIDE — As holiday cheer sets in and Coloradans attend parties across the state, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and statewide law enforcement agencies are teaming up to keep roads safe from impaired drivers. The annual The Heat Is On Holiday Parties DUI enforcement period begins Friday and runs through Monday, Dec. 16.  

Today, CDOT, CSP, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and participating law enforcement agencies hosted a media event at the Colorado State Capitol to launch the upcoming DUI enforcement periodRepresentatives from CDOT, CSP, MADD and the Denver Police Department shared remarks at the event. In addition, a group of safety advocates and officers sang three DUI-themed carols. The DUI carols were spoofs of popular holiday songs. Please see video and photos from the event here:

The event also featured the “DUI Tree” — a 3D holiday tree decorated with 100 large white holiday lights. For every 10 DUIs reported during the enforcement period, a white bulb will be replaced on the tree with a red or blue bulb to represent police lights. Signs will accompany the tree with the message, “You Choose — Holiday Lights or Police Lights.” The tree will be on display at the Denver Pavilions (500 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202) through Dec. 16 and will be updated every few days with red/blue lights.

"In 2018, one-third of all traffic fatalities on Colorado roads involved an impaired driver," said Shoshana Lew, executive director of CDOT. "We encourage everyone celebrating the holidays to plan ahead and arrange for a sober ride home."   

This enforcement effort is part of CDOT’s ongoing The Heat Is On campaign to enforce Colorado DUI and DWAI laws and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by impaired drivers in Colorado. During last year’s 10-day Holiday Parties enforcement period, 113 law enforcement agencies arrested 727 impaired drivers.

In December 2018, 20 percent of the 54 statewide traffic fatalities were impairment-related.

“There’s only one way to drive and that’s sober,” said Matthew Packard, chief of the CSP. “Looking forward to the holiday season and the rest of 2019, we want everyone to think twice before getting behind the wheel while impaired. Whether it’s a sober friend, a ride-hailing service, or public transportation, make sure to plan ahead and secure a sober ride.”

The Holiday Parties DUI enforcement comes after 91 agencies participated in the Thanksgiving weekend enforcement period from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2. To access CDOT’s The Heat Is On arrest database for the Thanksgiving enforcement period, visit data can be sorted by law enforcement agency, county and enforcement period.

CDOT urges Colorado residents and visiting drivers to plan ahead and arrange a sober ride home if you choose to drink. Ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber connect users directly with a nearby driver and public transportation is also available across the state.
The Thanksgiving and Holiday Parties enforcement periods and DUI-prevention campaign support CDOT’s Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to reduce traffic injuries and deaths. Last year, there were 209 passenger vehicle fatalities on Colorado roads involving impaired drivers, accounting for more than one-third of all traffic fatalities in 2018. A complete list of arrests can be found at
The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year, with 16 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. Find more details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips at

In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely. 

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.