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True leaders drive sober: Today Presidents Day DUI enforcement begins

February 14, 2020 - Traffic Safety - 225 impaired drivers arrested during Super Bowl enforcement period

STATEWIDE  As Coloradans gear up for a long weekend to celebrate Presidents Day, Colorado law enforcement will be on high alert for impaired drivers out on the roads. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and other local participating law agencies will work overtime for the Presidents Day DUI enforcement, from Feb. 14–24.

Because the first day of the enforcement period coincides with Valentine’s Day, CDOT is partnering with Lightshade dispensaries across metro Denver to give lucky couples cannabis-themed bouquets adorned with safety messages and artificial marijuana leaves. Valentine cards with information about Colorado’s impaired driving laws will be handed out to customers to share with their loved ones and friends. CDOT hopes the effort will raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. [A media kit is available at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4iwnstc71b9wtlj/AAA-MpwvfyC4KrfM2niR1PuPa?dl=0 ]

The Presidents Day enforcement period is a new Heat Is On campaign. It is one of 16 planned for the year.

“CDOT wants Coloradans to enjoy Presidents Day, but do so safely. Whether you’re traveling for a long holiday weekend or celebrating close to home, plan to have a sober driver if you will consume alcohol,” said Shoshana Lew, executive director at CDOT. “Ride-hailing services, taxis or public transit are available statewide and are all safer, less expensive options for getting home compared to a DUI.”

In addition to planning a sober ride, mobile breathalyzers can be used as a tool to help drinkers make better decisions and ensure their blood-alcohol content is zero before getting behind the wheel. To purchase a personal breathalyzer, visit codot.bactrack.com.

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.

“With more cars on the road during holiday weekends, the likelihood of impaired drivers increases,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of CSP. “If you’ve consumed any amount of alcohol or marijuana, make sure you have a sober ride. We want everyone to reach their destinations and come back home safely this weekend.”

CDOT and 93 law enforcement agencies across the state recently completed the four-day Super Bowl Weekend DUI enforcement period, arresting 225 impaired drivers. The arrest total is a decrease from the 315 arrests during the same enforcement last year. The Colorado Springs Police Department (35 arrests), Denver Police Department (25 arrests), and Lakewood Police Department (12 arrests) recorded the most arrests. CSP made 53 arrests. A complete list of arrests can be found at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

CDOT’s The Heat Is On DUI-prevention campaign and Presidents Day and Super Bowl enforcement periods support CDOT’s Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to reduce traffic injuries and deaths.

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.

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