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Law Enforcement Agencies Heat Up DUI Enforcement for the 4th of July Weekend

June 30, 2011 - Traffic Safety - Coloradans Reminded to Celebrate Responsibly on Land and Water.

Denver , CO-  The “100 Days of Heat” DUI crackdown is igniting for the Fourth of July weekend, with over 100 law enforcement agencies and Colorado State Patrol troops hitting roadways with increased DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints.  The enforcement begins tonight at 6 p.m. and continues through 3 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5. The effort is part of the summer-long “100 Days of Heat” campaign, an intensive DUI enforcement effort that began Memorial Day weekend and continues through Labor Day.

“The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our nation’s independence and to have fun with family and friends,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Don’t jeopardize your freedom and put others at risk by getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Be smart and plan ahead with a sober designated driver.”

During last year’s Fourth of July DUI crackdown, half of the 10 traffic fatalities that occurred in the state involved alcohol, and 620 drivers were arrested for DUI. Since the “100 Days of Heat” campaign began on Memorial Day Weekend, nearly 500 DUI arrests have already been made.

The risk of alcohol-related crashes is not just limited to roadways. Colorado’s waterways are also a dangerous place when combined with drinking alcohol. Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is a primary contributing factor in nearly one-fifth of boating fatalities nationwide. This past weekend, June 24-26, Colorado State Parks participated in “Operation Dry Water.” During the outreach, more than 1,200 boats and 2,000 boaters were contacted by Ranger staff focused on the detection and apprehension of boaters under the influence in seven of Colorado’s State Parks.

“With temperatures rising, everyone wants to have a good time this summer on the water. But getting behind the wheel of your boat after drinking a few beers is very dangerous,” said Kris Wahlers, special investigator with Colorado State Parks.  “We hope ‘Operation Dry Water’ not only enforced the importance of boating sober, but educated people about the dangers of drinking and operating a water craft. We will continue to patrol waterways this holiday weekend and throughout the summer.”

Starting today, signs will be posted at State Parks across the state as a reminder of the DUI crackdown. A mobile billboard will also travel around the Denver Metro area with a counter showing 3,293 DUI arrests have been made during enforcement periods since the beginning of the year. In addition, two 50-foot banners are on display on the portal entrances to the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels. Rockies’ fans will also see the message at Coors Field during the popular fireworks games. It will be hard to avoid the message, “The Heat is On. Designate a Sober Driver.”

With 68 days remaining in the “100 Days of Heat” campaign, law enforcement agencies continue to work overtime conducting checkpoints, saturation patrols and increased patrols on roadways.  Click here for a list of law enforcement agencies that have filed plans for increased and saturation patrols during the Fourth of July enforcement period.

For more information about the Heat Is On, the latest enforcement plans and arrest results, visit www.HeatIsOnColorado.com.

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