Memorial Day DUI Enforcement Begins Tomorrow

1,936 Drivers Cited for DUI During Spring Events Enforcement

STATEWIDE—The Heat Is On DUI enforcement campaign will return for Memorial Day weekend as Coloradans celebrate the unofficial start of summer.

Ninety-six law enforcement agencies are participating statewide. The heightened enforcement is a collaborative effort conducted by the CDOT, Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement statewide. The increased enforcement starts Friday, May 26, and ends on Tuesday, May 30.

Last year, 372 impaired drivers were arrested for DUI during the Memorial Day enforcement period and one person was killed due to an alcohol-related crash on the holiday.

"As we enter the warmer summer months, CDOT hopes fewer people will drive impaired and, instead, plan ahead whenever drinking alcohol," said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. "The number of DUI arrests we saw last year underscores the importance of the enforcement periods. Unfortunately, people continue to risk their lives and the lives of others on the road by driving impaired."

CDOT, CSP and 108 statewide law enforcement agencies recently completed The Heat Is On Spring Events DUI enforcement, aiming to remove impaired drivers from the roads during the start of seasonal activities like baseball games and graduation parties that commonly involve alcohol consumption.

Statewide a total of 1936 impaired drivers were arrested during the six-week crackdown—an increase from the 1,870 arrests during the same enforcement period last year. Most of the 1,936 arrests were by CSP troopers (293), the Colorado Springs Police Department (201), Denver Police Department (191) and the Aurora Police Department (162). (See more results.)

"Even a couple drinks can impair a person's ability to drive," said CSP Chief Col. Scott Hernandez. "While it's easy to focus on the fun and festivities over the Memorial Day weekend, if everyone takes a moment to plan a sober ride home, the roads will be much safer for everyone."

In a new report by NoDUIColorado, Colorado drivers convicted of a first-time DUI can, on average, expect to spend a minimum of 170 hours dealing with the consequences. That's the equivalent of more than a month of full-time employment. This includes time associated with ignition interlock requirements, alcohol-and-drug education and therapy classes, probation, community service, court and the license reinstatement process at the DMV.

In addition, a DUI can cost a person more than $13,500 after considering fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs. Penalties increase for repeat offenders. You can view Memorial Day enforcement plans of all 96 participating agencies.

CDOT's R-U-Buzzed app is a DUI-prevention tool that allows users to track their blood alcohol content (BAC) level based on information they enter and automatically connects users to popular ride-hailing services. Download the free R-U-Buzzed app for iPhone and Android. For more accurate BAC analysis, CDOT encourages drinkers to use smartphone breathalyzers.

Information on ride services throughout Colorado can be found at, which encourages drivers to leave vehicles at home and use alternative transportation both when going out, and when returning home.

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.

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