Fall DUI Enforcement Begins Tonight

September 11, 2015 - Traffic Safety - 939 Arrested During Labor Day Crackdown / 3500 Try Breathalizers in LoDo.

STATEWIDE — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is ready to crank up the heat on drunk drivers with the statewide Fall Festivals DUI enforcement period. Working with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies, CDOT’s The Heat Is On campaign will launch the DUI crackdown today, Friday, Sept. 11, and continue until Monday, Oct. 26.

The DUI enforcement arrives on the heels of the Labor Day enforcement period, where 74 law enforcement agencies arrested 939 people between Aug. 21 and Sept. 8, according to preliminary data. Most arrests came from the Colorado State Patrol (214), Denver (154), Aurora (113) and Colorado Springs (93). The 2014 Labor Day DUI enforcement resulted in 1,102 statewide arrests from 95 participating law enforcement agencies.

“Even one alcohol or drug impaired driver is one too many and serves as a reminder of the importance of education and enforcement,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “CDOT’s The Heat Is On campaign helps keep Coloradans safe from those that act irresponsibly and put others at risk.” 

“With the arrival of fall, we tend to see an increase in impaired driving due to alcohol-related events like Oktoberfest and football season, among other factors,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We realize people want to have a good time, and that is fine, but drinkers must be responsible and never get behind the wheel impaired.” 

To combat drunk driving over Labor Day weekend, CDOT — in a partnership with ride-hailing service Uber and smartphone breathalyzer company Alcohoot — hosted a series of events to educate people on how to safely enjoy a night of drinking. An estimated 3500 people tried out smartphone breathalizers at the events, with many receiving results above the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.  One hundred and forty Alcohoot breathalyzers were given away, as well as $1,000 in Uber ride credits.    

To view a short video that recaps the Labor Day events, visit: https://youtu.be/Up5AcJ4YH34.To view the promo video for the Labor Day events, visit: https://youtu.be/kYMieIK-efw

“A breathalyzer is an informative tool to help people realize when they’ve exceeded their limit to drive, and Uber is great way to get home safely without ever getting behind the wheel,” said Sam Cole, Safety Communications Manager at CDOT. “There was a great response from the public at our events. We estimate 2,500 people stopped by our event on Friday and Saturday night at 20th St. and Market St. in downtown Denver, and an additional 1,000 at Coors Field on Sunday.”

The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns.

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.