News

Give thanks for sober drivers — Thanksgiving DUI enforcement begins Friday

November 25, 2019

STATEWIDE  Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, and, unfortunately, that means more impaired drivers on Colorado roads. In 2018, 4 out of the 5 Thanksgiving travel period road fatalities in Colorado involved an alcohol-impaired driver. To keep roads safe during holiday travel, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and 91 law enforcement agencies will ramp up DUI enforcement starting Friday, Nov. 22 through Monday, Dec. 2.

 The effort is part of CDOT’s ongoing The Heat Is On campaign to enforce Colorado DUI and DWAI laws and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by impaired drivers in Colorado. Last year, law enforcement agencies arrested 593 impaired drivers during the 10-day Thanksgiving enforcement period.

 In addition to the Thanksgiving enforcement period, Colorado and Wyoming law enforcement agencies will combine efforts to increase DUI enforcement on Nov. 22 in Larimer County. The enforcement period is aimed at keeping travelers safe during the football game between the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University. The patrol areas will include I-25 (between Cheyenne and Fort Collins) and US Highway 287 (between Fort Collins and Laramie). This multi-state, multi-agency enforcement will use saturation patrols to target impaired drivers.

“Impaired drivers put all roadway users at risk and jeopardize CDOT’s core mission to reduce the rate and severity of crashes on Colorado roads,” said Shoshana Lew, executive director of CDOT. “Law enforcement agencies will closely monitor roads across the state during these enforcement campaigns to ensure everyone gets home safely.”

 CDOT urges Colorado residents and visiting drivers to plan ahead and arrange a sober ride home if you choose to drink. Ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber connect users directly with a nearby driver and public transportation is also available across the state.

 “The CSP and local law enforcement officers will be sacrificing time with their families to apprehend impaired drivers during the CSU vs. WY Border War and throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” said Matthew Packard, chief of the CSP. “We urge people to travel safely and designate a sober driver. The four alcohol-driving related deaths on Colorado roads last Thanksgiving is four too many.”

The Thanksgiving enforcement period and DUI-prevention campaign support CDOT’s Whole System—Whole Safety initiative to reduce traffic injuries and deaths. Last year, there were 209 passenger vehicle fatalities on Colorado roads involving impaired drivers, accounting for more than one-third of all traffic fatalities in 2018. A complete list of arrests can be found at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

ABOUT THE HEAT IS ON

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 16 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.

WHOLE SYSTEM. WHOLE SAFETY.  

In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System—Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely.

ABOUT CDOT

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal