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CDOT Rooting for Sober Drivers During Super Bowl Weekend

February 1, 2019 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Plan Ahead, Super Bowl DUI Enforcement Begins Today

STATEWIDE — Sunday will crown the winner of Super Bowl LIII, but some fans will find themselves losing their license, money and freedom because of a DUI. In coordination with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and statewide law enforcement agencies, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will conduct The Heat Is On Super Bowl DUI enforcement starting today through Feb. 4. Law enforcement may conduct increased patrols, saturation patrols and traditional checkpoints during the enforcement period.

“CDOT wants Super Bowl fans to have their own game plan if they choose to celebrate with alcohol this weekend,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Fans should have a sober ride or use a ridesharing service, taxi or public transit to get home safe after the big game.”

Consequences for a DUI can include up to one year in jail, license suspension and more than $13,500 after considering fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs.

CDOT recommends always having a safe ride planned before you start drinking — there are several options available for those who need to find a sober ride home. Ride-hailing services like Lyft, Uber and zTrip connect users directly with a nearby driver. Public transportation is also available across the state. In addition to planning a sober ride, mobile breathalyzers can be used as a tool to help drinkers make better decisions. To purchase a personal breathalyzer, visit codot.bactrack.com.

“Preliminary data shows 217 fatalities involving impaired drivers on Colorado roadways in 2018,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP. “The goal of these increased enforcement periods is to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel impaired. If everyone does their part, we can save lives on Colorado roads this year.”

CDOT and law enforcement agencies across the state recently completed the 10-day Winter Blitz DUI enforcement period, arresting 571 drivers for being under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs. The arrests were a 5 percent decrease from the 601 arrests during the same enforcement stretch last year. The Denver Police Department (56 arrests), Colorado Springs Police Department (53 arrests), and Aurora Police Department (35 arrests) recorded the most arrests. In addition, CSP troops made 49 arrests across the state.  

If you are joining the festivities this weekend, remember these tips to keep yourself and loved ones safe:

Planning on Drinking?

  • Plan a sober ride home before heading out to watch the big game. Consider getting a sober ride to your destination so you won’t be tempted to later drive impaired. Great options available include taxis, Uber, Lyft and public transit.
  • If you appoint a designated driver, ensure they are truly sober, not simply more sober than you are. Buzzed driving is still drunk driving.
  • Enjoy the food at your favorite party along with your alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol quickly and alternate your drinks with non-alcoholic beverages.
  • If you’re ever unsure if you are safe to drive, always err on the side of caution and find a sober ride home.

Hosting a Party?

  • Encourage your guests to designate a sober driver or plan for a safe ride home before heading over.
  • Create an Uber or Lyft group ride code for your party and share with your guests.
  • Provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks and encourage your guests to bring their favorites to keep everyone fed and hydrated throughout the game.
  • Make your own last call and stop serving alcohol after the third quarter or even half time.
  • Don’t forget that, as a host, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a crash, you could be held liable.
  • Offer guests a night on your couch if a sober ride home is unavailable.

Reporting for Duty as the Designated Driver?

  • If you’re driving, do not drink. Your responsible choice can save lives.
  • Offer safe rides to those who may not have prepared a sober ride home.
  • Buckle up for safety and require all your passengers to do the same when it’s time to head 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 15 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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