Don’t Wine, Dine and Drive This Holiday Party Season

December 9, 2013 - Statewide Transportation Plan - Coloradans urged to celebrate responsibly.

STATEWIDE — As sleigh bells start ringing and holiday celebrations begin throughout Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is once again teaming up with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and law enforcement agencies across the state to boost DUI enforcement. Holiday celebrations are commonplace in early December, leading to an increase in alcohol consumption amongst partygoers. The enforcement period surrounding these holiday parties runs from Dec. 6 through Dec. 16 and is part of CDOT’s ongoing The Heat Is On impaired driving prevention campaign.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a reason,” says Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “People are in good spirits, and families and friends are coming together to enjoy each other’s company. We encourage good times and celebration while urging revelers to designate a sober driver or plan for alternative transportation ahead of time.”

If the recent Thanksgiving weekend enforcement period is any indication, this holiday party season should be an eventful one for CSP troopers statewide. 392 arrests were made over Thanksgiving weekend this year and there were 3 alcohol-related fatalities on Colorado roadways. Last December, there were 34 fatalities on Colorado roadways; 13 of those were alcohol-related and five of them were during the holiday party enforcement period alone. There were also nearly 2,000 Coloradans arrested for a DUI from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

“Everyone deserves the chance for a safe, wonderful holiday,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “The second someone chooses to drive impaired, they take that chance away from everyone around them. Please secure a sober ride home and protect your fellow Coloradans. You never know whose life you might be saving.”

The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 12 specific DUI enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. More details about the campaign, including DUI enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips, can be found