News

Holiday DUI enforcement period set to keep Colorado roads safe

December 2, 2020 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Gift of Lyft provides $10,000 in free rides to prevent impaired driving

 

STATEWIDE — To curb impaired driving during the holiday season, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies will combine efforts to conduct The Heat Is On Holiday DUI enforcement from Dec. 4-14.  Eighty-one law enforcement agencies will increase DUI patrols to support the enforcement period. CDOT and Lyft are also joining together on a new program to offer free rides over the holidays.

Enforcement can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. Local law enforcement agency plans can be found at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to grow dramatically, the state is urging people to cancel gatherings with people who don't live together. People are also reminded to always wear a mask if they must go out and stay six feet apart from others.

“The holidays should be a memorable time for our community, but not because it marks the loss of a loved one due to an impaired driving crash," said Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. "We will be actively looking for people who fail to plan for a sober ride after using drugs or alcohol.”

As of November 1 there have been 168 traffic fatalities involving an impaired driver, up 14% from last year despite lower traffic volumes. Alcohol use, including excessive drinking, has increased nationally during COVID-19. For example, the average drinks per day has increased 27% and binge drinking has increased by 26%. The largest increases in excessive drinking has been observed in western states, including Colorado.

CDOT and the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) are helping Coloradans plan sober rides by providing 1,000 Lyft ride credit codes valued at $10 each as part of the “Gift of Lyft” promotion. Every Thursday in December at 10 a.m., 200 ride credits will launch in targeted cities and be available on a first-come, first-served basis for those who sign the Gift of Lyft Pledge.   

The cities targeted — Denver, Colorado Springs and Thornton — represent areas where DUI fatalities were the highest in 2019. Codes will be available to residents of the following cities on each launch’s scheduled date:

Thursday, Dec. 3 — Denver

Thursday, Dec. 10 — Colorado Springs

Thursday, Dec. 17 — Thornton

Thursday, Dec. 24 — Denver

Thursday, Dec. 31 — Colorado Springs

 Gift-O-Lyft Image

The Gift of Lyft is part of a Safe Road Use grant CDOT received from the GHSA and Lyft to help reduce impaired driving across the state. For additional information about the Gift of Lyft, visit GiftOfLyft.com.

A few of the COVID-19 safety guidelines for ride-share services include wearing a face mask, leaving the front seat empty, and staying home if you’re sick. Review the full list of Lyft’s latest COVID-19 precautions at lyft.com/safety/coronavirus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has safety information geared toward ride-share service drivers at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/rideshare-drivers-for-hire.html.

Each year in Colorado, more than 20,000 people are arrested for DUI — that’s an average of 55 DUIs every day. In 2019, 171 people died in impairment-related crashes on Colorado roads, accounting for nearly one-third of Colorado’s traffic deaths.

During The Heat Is On holiday DUI enforcement period last year, 100 participating law enforcement agencies arrested 572 impaired drivers.

Learn more about CDOT’s dedication to keeping Colorado roads safe, including impaired driving enforcement objectives, arrest data and safety information at codot.gov/safety.

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

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