Five-Week The Heat Is On DUI Enforcement Begins Today

1,555 arrested during 2016 Spring Events enforcement

As warm weather beckons Coloradans outdoors, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies are set to collaborate for the latest The Heat Is On DUI enforcement in an effort to curb impaired driving.

The Spring Events enforcement begins today, April 7, and continues through May 15, coinciding with annual spring celebrations and festivities—graduations, spring breaks, outdoor festivals, the start of baseball season and numerous 4/20 events—where alcohol and cannabis may be consumed.

Last year, 1,555 impaired drivers were arrested during the five-week enforcement. This year's crackdown involves 108 law enforcement agencies statewide.

"With warmer weather, we know more Coloradans will hit the roads to enjoy the outdoors," said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT's Office of Transportation Safety. "We ask those who drink alcohol or consume cannabis to do so only if they plan a sober ride. Impaired driving is not a risk worth taking."

In April and May 2016, there were 94 traffic fatalities on Colorado roads. Of these, 38 (40 percent) involved impaired drivers.

"Law enforcement is determined to keep Colorado's roads safe and prevent impaired driving crashes from occurring year-round," said Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "The Spring Events enforcement reinforces this mission, and reminds motorists to plan a sober ride to and from their destinations."

The start of spring also marks the return of Colorado Rockies baseball, and CDOT is bringing impaired driving awareness to Coors Field this season. Posters will be placed throughout the stadium and a public service announcement (PSA) video featuring Rockies players will be played on the Jumbotron each game, reminding fans to enjoy the game responsibly. CDOT will also host a "stadium take-over" during games with every digital screen displaying the message: "Choosing to Drink? Don't Risk a DUI."

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.

Find more details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips.