Don’t Let a Halloween DUI Haunt You

October 29, 2015 - CDOT’s The Heat Is On DUI Enforcement Begins Friday.

STATEWIDE — There are plenty of scary Halloween costumes, but none more frightening than the prison jumpsuit you’ll be wearing if caught driving impaired this Halloween weekend. Beginning Friday, Oct. 30 and running until Monday, Nov. 2, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state will partner under The Heat Is On campaign. DUI patrols will increase at 70 agencies, citing and arresting drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes the deployment of BAT Van mobile testing units in at least two communities, Denver and Colorado Springs.  

“Halloween this year falls on a Saturday, so it’s likely some adults will be out partying and celebrating that night,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “With children also out trick-or-treating that evening, it’s imperative we keep impaired drivers off the streets.”

Between 2013 and 2014, there was a decrease in the number of DUI arrests during the Halloween weekend enforcement period, dropping from 427 arrests to 329 arrests.

“We’re hoping the downward trend continues and we can celebrate a Halloween weekend with zero roadway fatalities,” said Lingk. “It’ll take a statewide effort to achieve this goal.”

The 2014 Halloween enforcement involved 78 law enforcement agencies, with the Denver Police Department (50), Aurora Police Department (36) and Colorado Springs Police Department (34) citing the most arrests. In addition, CSP cited 90 DUI arrests statewide.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2009 and 2013, 43 percent of all traffic fatalities on Halloween resulted from a drunk driving related crash and 26 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

“We’re asking Colorado motorists who choose to drink to do so responsibly and help keep our roadways safe while celebrating Halloween,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “But they should know if they choose to drive impaired, they are a danger to themselves and others on our roadways, and they will be arrested.”

On Monday, the Fall Fest DUI enforcement period ended. Preliminary reports indicate 53 law enforcement agencies arrested 1225 drivers for driving impaired. The police departments with the most arrests were Denver (294), Colorado Springs (203) and Aurora (225). The enforcement period ran from September 11 until October 26.   

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