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The Heat Is On Begins 2018 With 860 DUI Arrests

February 12, 2018 - Statewide Safety - Law Enforcement Complete Winter Blitz and Super Bowl Enforcement Periods

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) teamed with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and statewide law agencies to defend Colorado roads from impaired drivers who neglected to make a sober game plan over Super Bowl weekend. This was the second The Heat Is On DUI enforcement period of 2018. The Winter Blitz DUI crackdown was the first. A total of 860 DUI arrests were made during the two campaigns.   

Between Feb. 2 and Feb. 5, law enforcement from 106 agencies across the state participated in the Super Bowl Weekend enforcement period, arresting 259 drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs, a decrease from the 278 arrests made during the same enforcement period last year. The Denver Police Department (27 arrests), Colorado Springs Police Department (22 arrests), and Aurora Police Department (18 arrests) recorded the most arrests.  In addition CSP troops arrested 50 drivers during the enforcement period.

Earlier, the Winter Blitz enforcement period saw participation from 108 law enforcement agencies, arresting 601 drivers between Jan. 19 and Jan. 29, a decrease from the 608 arrests during the same enforcement stretch last year. The Colorado Springs Police Department (62 arrests), Denver Police Department (41 arrests), and Aurora Police Department (32 arrests) recorded the most arrests. In addition CSP troops arrested 131 drivers during the enforcement period.

“In 2017, we saw 232 alcohol- and drug-related fatalities on Colorado roads, a 16 percent increase from 2016,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “When an impaired driver decides to get behind the wheel, they risk the safety of everyone on the road. Having a simple plan in place for a sober ride home can be the difference between life and death.”

Impairment from alcohol, marijuana or other drugs severely impacts a driver’s motor skills and decision-making abilities.

“Impairment changes a driver’s judgement, reaction time, motor skills and perception of time and distance,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP. “Impaired drivers then become a dangerous and unpredictable hazard on the road. A few drinks and one bad decision can lead to irreparable harm to themselves and others.”

The legal BAC limit in Colorado is 0.05 percent for driving while ability impaired (DWAI) and 0.08 percent for driving under the influence (DUI). First-time DUI offenders can be punished with up to one year in jail, license suspension and fines. On average, a DUI can cost more than $13,500 after considering fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs.

The Heat Is On returns on March 16 for the four-day St. Patrick’s Day 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. Find more details about the campaign, including impaired-driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips at HeatIsOnColorado.com.

 

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