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Six-Week DUI Spring Events Enforcement Begins April 4

April 3, 2015 - Traffic Safety - 1,800 Arrested During Same 2014 Enforcement.

STATEWIDE — As spring ushers in longer days and warmer weather, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies are also turning up the heat, ramping up DUI patrols for the Spring Events The Heat Is On enforcement period running from Saturday, April 4, through Sunday, May 17. 

Aiming to keep Colorado’s roads safe and reduce the number of DUIs and impairment fatalities, the enforcement period runs for more than a month, coinciding with functions where people will likely be celebrating — whether that be college graduations, sporting events, or marijuana-friendly libations — CDOT doesn’t mind if you celebrate, as long as you never get behind the wheel impaired. During the 2014 Spring Events The Heat is On enforcement, more than 1,800 people were arrested for a DUI, an increase from 2013 when 1,709 were arrested during the same time.

April also marks the start of a noticeable upward trend in impairment fatalities heading into the summer. In 2014, there were 12 statewide impairment fatalities in April, steadily increasing during the summer before peaking at 24 fatalities in August, according to preliminary 2014 data.

“With the weather warming up and the days getting longer, motorists tend to drive faster and take longer trips,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Wherever the road may take you this spring, remember to never drive impaired and be aware of other drivers who may be impaired. If you drive after drinking or doing drugs, we will find and arrest you.”

To kick off the spring season, CDOT will have a presence at Coors Field during the Colorado Rockies baseball season — distributing posters with The Heat Is On messaging, and playing public service announcement (PSA) videos on the Jumbotron.  The new PSA’s feature Rockies players reminding fans to enjoy the game responsibly.

“We find it best to incorporate our campaign messaging in places where people are more likely to become impaired – festivals, sporting events, , concerts, restaurants and bars,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “People are out and the about more as the weather warms up, so we want to make sure we are there reminding people to not drive when impaired.” 

The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 12 specific high visibility impaired driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. More details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com   

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