296 Impaired Drivers Celebrated America’s Freedom from Behind Bars

July 14, 2014 - Traffic Safety - Fourth of July Weekend Enforcement Cracks Down on Impaired Drivers.

STATEWIDE—The U.S. turned 238 years old this past weekend, and while most Coloradans celebrated responsibly, many users of Colorado’s roadways chose to put themselves and everyone else at risk by driving impaired. Over the Fourth of July weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies across the state joined forces for an increased DUI education and enforcement period resulting in 296 DUI arrests.

“We always warn people before an increased DUI enforcement period in the hopes it will deter impaired drivers,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Unfortunately, many users of Colorado roadways don’t heed our warning, and our troopers are forced to take them off the roads to protect not only that driver, but also everyone else. Instead of looking back on the weekend with a fond memory, 296 people now get to think about their time in jail and the $10,000 cost they’ll have to deal with.”

Fourth of July is a notoriously challenging weekend for alcohol-related crashes and fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2008-2012, 40% of all the traffic fatalities that occurred over the holiday weekend involved impaired drivers. Preliminary reports show that there were 3 alcohol-related fatalities in Colorado over the weekend.

During the increased The Heat Is On DUI enforcement period, the law enforcement agencies that removed the most impaired drivers from Colorado roadways included Denver Police Department (48), Aurora Police Department (35) and Colorado Springs Police Department (22). The Colorado State Patrol made 30 DUI arrests throughout the state.

“The arrests from this Fourth of July weekend are another reminder that more can always be done to prevent impaired driving,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety. “Throughout Labor Day, our law enforcement partners will continue their strict DUI enforcement, and CDOT will ramp up its public education efforts to increase awareness about this safety issue.”

The Heat Is On runs the entire year with 12 specific DUI enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large, public events. More details about the DUI enforcement plans and arrest results can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.