'100 Days of Heat' DUI Crackdown Flares Up Tonight through Labor Day Weekend
Denver – The final countdown of the “100 Days of Heat” DUI crackdown promises to be the most intensive DUI enforcement of the summer, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Over 90 law enforcement agencies and the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) have filed plans to increase DUI patrols starting tonight, Friday, Aug. 17 through Tuesday, Sep. 4th. In addition, at least ten sobriety checkpoints are planned in the state.
The “Heat is On” enforcement coincides with the national DUI campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” which includes over 10,000 law enforcement agencies across the country.
New research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the 10,228 alcohol-impaired fatalities in 2010 accounted for nearly one out of three highway deaths on U.S. roads – the equivalent of one death every 51 minutes. During the same time period, more than two thirds of drunk driving deaths (7,145 or 70%) involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher.
In Colorado in 2010, 98 people were killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver with a BAC of .08 or higher, representing 22% of all traffic fatalities. Of the drunk driving deaths, 76% involved a driver with blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher.
“These people are not just having one drink, they are getting very drunk and then getting behind the wheel,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “That is why it is critical for everyone to plan ahead before getting to the point of intoxication when decision making is extremely poor. Figure out a plan before you begin drinking, or expect to face the consequences.”
Here are DUI Arrests By the Numbers: Since the “100 Days of Heat” campaign began Memorial Weekend, Colorado law enforcement agencies have made 1,301 DUI arrests in Colorado during enforcement periods and at checkpoints. During last year’s national DUI crackdown alone, police made 1,442 DUI arrests. According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations annual crime report, 25,789 adults were arrested for DUI in 2011. The cost of a DUI is $10,270.
In addition to increased patrols and saturation patrols, the following agencies are conducting sobriety checkpoints:
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office – Aug. 18
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office – Aug. 18
Denver Police Dept. – Aug. 24
Westminster Police Department – Aug. 24
Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office and CSP Troop 6D – Aug. 24
Lakewood Police Dept. – Aug. 31
Thornton Police Department – Sept. 1
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office – Sept. 1
Weld County DUI Task Force – Sept. 1
Adams County Sheriff’s Office – Sept. 2
More details about the DUI enforcement plans by agency, as well as arrest results after the enforcement period can be found at www.HeatIsOnColorado.com.