Halloween Turned Into a Nightmare for 564 Colorado Drivers

November 14, 2012 - Traffic Safety - Halloween DUI enforcement numbers are in.

STATEWIDE — Ghouls and goblins weren’t the only ones out in force over Halloween weekend. As part of the annual Halloween “Heat Is On” crackdown, coordinated by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and dozens of local agencies arrested 564 Colorado drivers for DUIs across the state. The crackdown began at 6 p.m. Friday, October 26 and lasted until 3 a.m. on Thursday, November 1.

Preliminary reports show the highest number of arrests were in Denver, with 72 arrests. In Colorado Springs, 46 DUI arrests were made over the holiday weekend. Aurora (42), Adams County (33), and Fort Collins (29) rounded out the top five areas with the highest number of impaired driving violations over the holiday weekend.

“Despite giving motorists fair warning, arrests have increased compared to last year’s enforcement period at this same time,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of CDOT's Office of Transportation Safety. “Officers will continue to be on the lookout for impaired drivers, especially during the holiday season.”

Over the past few years October has proved to be a deadly month on Colorado roadways. This past month, there were 38 crashes resulting in 43 fatalities on Colorado highways. 12 were alcohol and/or drug related. During the Halloween enforcement period, there were three alcohol and/or drug related crashes and three fatalities.

Last year, 10 deaths occurred in alcohol-related crashes during the month of October. In 2010, 17 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes, with one of those deaths occurring over Halloween weekend, and in 2009, October proved to be the deadliest month for DUI crashes, with 26 people killed.

Halloween enforcement came on the heels of the Fall Festival enforcement period that began Sept. 7 and ended Oct. 22. CSP and local agencies arrested 2,203 people for DUI during that time period. The next Heat Is On crackdown occurs during Thanksgiving week from November 20 through November 26.

“It is very discouraging that 564 motorists in Colorado chose to drive impaired when celebrating with alcohol,” said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the CSP. “It’s not a complicated message: ‘Don’t drink and drive.’ The second part of the message is ‘Always designate a sober driver if drinking, or arrange for another safe way to travel.’ Driving impaired anytime is not only illegal, but extremely irresponsible as it can lead to tragic consequences for themselves and for other motorists on our roads. And, always remember to buckle up.”

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

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