News

Today CDOT gets revved up for Sturgis Rally DUI enforcement

August 7, 2020 - Statewide Traffic Safety - 73 motorcycle deaths in Colorado in 2020

STATEWIDE —As motorcyclists from across the country make their way to South Dakota for the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and 86 local law enforcement agencies will be working together on a heightened DUI enforcement period. Starting today and continuing until Aug. 20, law enforcement agencies will take part in The Heat Is On campaign to prevent impaired driving on Colorado roads.

During the 2019 Sturgis Rally DUI enforcement period, 399 impaired motorists were arrested. Regardless of whether Sturgis is the final destination for motorists, CDOT and its partners are using this heightened enforcement to remind drivers and riders to plan before getting behind the wheel — or handlebars.

“Our job is to improve the safety of Colorado’s roadways, but we can’t do it alone,” said Shoshana Lew, CDOT Executive Director. “Especially during the weeks of increased motorcycle traffic surrounding the Sturgis Rally, increased impaired driving enforcement with our partners across the state can help protect all motorists. Please do your part to drive safely."

In 2020, there have been 73 motorcycle-related fatalities on Colorado’s roadways, a 10% increase from this time last year. The goal of this enforcement period and the overall Heat Is On campaign supports CDOT’s Whole System—Whole Safety initiative, creating increased awareness on the risks of impaired driving and riding.

“Motorcyclists are already at a higher safety risk when they hit the road and riding impaired only increases that risk while also putting other motorists in danger,” said Colonel Matthew Packard, CSP chief. “While motorcyclists will be able to celebrate the 80th Annual Sturgis Rally as planned, we encourage anyone who consumes alcohol or marijuana to refrain from riding impaired.”

Over the recent Summer Strikeout DUI enforcement period, which ran from July 17-27, 276 impaired motorists were arrested — a decrease from the 490 arrests made during the same period last year. A total of 83 agencies participated in the 10-day enforcement period, with the Colorado Springs Police Department (54 arrests) and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (37 arrests) recording the highest number of arrests. CSP recorded 24 arrests. Results for all law enforcement agencies across the state can be found at https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

As part of this year’s The Heat Is On campaign, CDOT has partnered again with BACtrack, a leading personal and professional breathalyzer company, to urge Coloradans to check their blood-alcohol content (BAC) to confirm they are sober before they drive. Through the partnership, BACtrack Mobile Pro, Trace Pro, C8, and C6 breathalyzers will be offered at a 50% discount for Colorado residents until Sept. 15, or while supplies last. Residents can visit codot.bactrack.com to place an order. For more information about previous CDOT and BACtrack breathalyzer campaigns, visit heatisoncolorado.com.

More than 1,000 Colorado residents have purchased BACtrack breathalyzers since the 50% discount became available in early-July. Last year, more than 1,400 Coloradans purchased breathalyzers through the entire campaign from July-October. Coloradans can visit codot.bactrack.com to place an order. For more information about previous CDOT and BACtrack breathalyzer campaigns, visit heatisoncolorado.com.

This summer, Coloradans can expect to see CDOT’s latest DUI prevention campaign, Take Some Time, across the state on billboards, buildings, social media, and in liquor stores. The campaign aims to educate and raise awareness of the time it takes for a person’s BAC to return to zero after consuming alcohol. View and download the campaign creative here: dropbox.com/sh/d7xzbb8kd6j9sei/AACCAzHtXzPzJeSl6DMLHXzva?dl=0

For more information on CDOT’s efforts this summer, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips, visit https://www.codot.gov/safety

 

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.

 

COVID-19

Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for all of us, particularly for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, CDOT maintenance and construction crews follow social distancing and other health safety measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the worksite. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced guidelines for construction activities. The public is urged to join the campaign for #DoingMyPartCO by practicing social distancing and wearing face masks.  As traffic returns to normal levels, motorists must drive cautiously and heed the speed limit so all of us can return home safely. 

 

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. Gov. Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

 

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