Independence Day Fizzles for 381 Impaired Drivers

Police in Greeley, Denver, Colorado Springs Make Most Arrests

STATEWIDE—The combination of red, white and blue was a common sight as Coloradans celebrated America's independence, but for hundreds of impaired drivers, those colors came from flashing police vehicles with a DUI arrest.

From June 30 to July 5, CDOT, Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies teamed up to conduct a Fourth of July heightened DUI enforcement, citing 381 impaired drivers. The citations are an increase from the 318 during last year's enforcement.

"It's unfortunate that so many people made the decision to drive impaired and put everyone on the road in danger," said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. "It can only take a couple drinks to put you over the limit, so we encourage everyone who plans to drink to make concrete plans for a sober ride to and from their destination."

A total of 109 agencies participated in the DUI enforcement, with the Greeley Police Department (28 arrests), Colorado Springs (32 arrests) and Denver (24 arrests) recording the highest number of arrests. In addition, CSP troops cited 86 drivers statewide.

"It doesn't matter if you are driving a short distance or if you only had a few drinks—it's never a good idea to drive after consuming alcohol," said Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "A DUI or even worse, injuring or killing other drivers and passengers on the road, is never worth the risk of driving impaired."

The Heat Is On returns for the Labor Day Crackdown from Aug. 18 to Sept. 5. Last year, 964 impaired drivers were arrested during the same enforcement period.

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 14 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.

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