Law enforcement arrests 327 impaired drivers during Thanksgiving DUI enforcement

News Release

December 7, 2020 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Average BAC level of 2019 DUI offenders in Colorado was .165

STATEWIDE — While some spent their Thanksgiving feasting, others were stopped by law enforcement and arrested for DUI. From Nov. 20-30, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local statewide agencies united for the Thanksgiving DUI enforcement period. During the increased patrols, 103 agencies arrested 327 impaired drivers on Colorado roadways. During the same period last year, 99 agencies made 430 arrests.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to grow dramatically, the state is urging people to cancel gatherings with people who don't live with them.  In addition, Colorado is strongly urging people to always wear a mask if they must go out in public and stay six feet apart from others.  

"Appreciating the dangers of drinking and driving is not rocket science. Nevertheless, too many people continue to operate their vehicles while intoxicated or high," stated Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. "We hope the message is sobering for each impaired driver removed from the roads this past enforcement period. You never have to drive impaired, there are options." 

During the Thanksgiving long weekend, there were three fatal crashes resulting in three deaths.

The Colorado Springs Police Department (37 arrests), Denver Police Department (27 arrests), and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (27 arrests) recording the highest number of arrests during the Thanksgiving enforcement period. The Colorado State Patrol made 71 arrests. Results for all law enforcement agencies across the state can be found at

In 2019, the average blood alcohol content (BAC) level of DUI offenders in Colorado was about .165 — more than double the DUI limit (.08) and triple that of the DWAI limit (.05). Choosing to drive at any level of impairment impacts your ability to react to hazards on the road and increases your chance of being involved in a crash.

In a further attempt to help reduce impaired driving, CDOT is offering 200 Lyft ride credit codes valued at $10 every Thursday in December at 10 a.m. The “Gift of Lyft” promotion asks residents in Denver, Colorado Springs and Thornton — areas where DUI fatalities were the highest in 2019 — to sign a pledge to never drive impaired. This week, ride credit codes will be available for Colorado Springs residents on a first-served basis for those who sign the Gift of Lyft Pledge. The campaign began Dec. 3 to kick off the holiday DUI enforcement period. To read more information about the Gift of Lyft and access the full ride credit code schedule, visit

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

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

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. The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. Find more information about the campaign at



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.


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.