Friday, October 28, 2016

RIP to DUI: Halloween Impaired Driving Enforcement Begins Today

Beginning today Friday, Oct. 28, and continuing through Tuesday, Nov. 1, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and law enforcement agencies throughout the state will increase their DUI enforcement as part of CDOT’s The Heat Is On campaign, aiming to eliminate drunk driving related injuries and fatalities this Halloween. In all, 100 law enforcement agencies will participate in the crack dwn.

Last year’s Halloween enforcement resulted in 269 DUI arrests, with the Denver Police Department (31), Aurora Police Department (27) and Colorado Springs Police Department (22) citing the most arrests. In addition, the Colorado State Patrol reported 55 arrests statewide.

“The consequences of a DUI goes beyond the financial repercussions,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Drivers can lose their license, face time in jail and be summoned to community service, not to mention the possibility of killing yourself or someone else in a drunk driving crash. It is not worth the risk when driving impaired is entirely preventable.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nationally, 45 percent of all traffic fatalities on Halloween between 2011-2015 involved a drunk driving related crash, while 23 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involved a drunk driver.

“With thousands of families taking to the streets for trick-or-treating, it is imperative that we keep Colorado’s roads safe and free of impaired drivers.” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We want Coloradans to celebrate responsibly this weekend. We’ll have more troopers, increased saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints in place to arrest those who unfortunately choose to drive after drinking.”

During the recent Fall Festivals DUI enforcement period, which ran from Sept. 16 to Oct. 24, law enforcement arrested 1352 people for impaired driving. The most arrests came from the Denver Police Department (161), Colorado Springs Police Department (154) and Aurora Police Department (221). The Colorado State Patrol reported 95 arrests statewide.

To access CDOT’s The Heat Is On arrest database for the Labor Day enforcement period visitbit.ly/HIOarrests. Arrest data can be sorted by law enforcement agency, county and enforcement period.

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 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.

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