Drunk Drivers Beware: Halloween DUI Enforcement Begins Friday

STATEWIDE—Beginning Friday, Oct. 27 through Wednesday, Nov. 1, CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and law enforcement agencies throughout the state will increase DUI enforcement—arresting drivers impaired by alcohol, cannabis or other drugs—as part of CDOT's The Heat Is On campaign. The enforcement aims to eliminate impaired-driving-related injuries and fatalities over Halloween weekend, and could include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty, dedicated to DUI enforcement.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 45 percent of all traffic fatalities on Halloween between 2011 and 2015 involved a drunk-driving-related crash, while 23 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involved a drunk driver.

"Thousands of children and families will be out and about trick-or-treating, and enjoying fall festivities this Halloween," said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. "We are dedicated to keeping them, and all Coloradans, safe from impaired drivers, and we have zero tolerance for those who choose to drive impaired, risking their lives and others."

In October 2013, Andrea Milholm was on her way home from an all-you-can-drink Halloween party in downtown Denver when she hit three people, killing one. She was charged with DUI vehicular assault and vehicular homicide.

"The word felon follows me everywhere I go," Milholm said. "There is nothing more hollowing than knowing that somebody died because of something that you did."

Milholm's story serves as a somber reminder of the consequences of impaired driving.

This year's enforcement campaign includes 113 law enforcement agencies across the state. Last year's Halloween DUI enforcement resulted in 296 DUI arrests, with the CSP (50), Denver Police Department (30) and Aurora Police Department (27) citing the most arrests.

"We are urging Coloradans to consume responsibly this weekend," said Col. Scott Hernandez, CSP chief. "There will be more pedestrians out on Halloween evening, so we're asking motorists to drive alert and without distractions. If you do plan to drive, do so sober. There are many alternative options to driving drunk, including ride share programs, cabs and public transit."

See CDOT's The Heat Is On arrest database for all enforcement periods. Arrest data can be sorted by law enforcement agency, county and 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 about the campaign, including impaired-driving-enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips.