News

2020 resolutions off to a rough start for 348 Colorado Drivers

January 8, 2020 - Statewide Traffic Safety - There were 8,513 DUI arrests during 15 enforcement periods in 2019

While some Coloradans rang in 2020 safely with friends and family, others started the year off on the wrong foot — with a DUI arrest. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and statewide law enforcement agencies collaborated for the New Year’s Eve increased DUI enforcement from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2 to keep impaired drivers off the roads during New Year’s festivities. During the enforcement, 348 impaired drivers were arrested for DUI, an increase from the 334 arrests made during the same enforcement period last year.

The New Year’s Eve enforcement began the 2020 The Heat Is On enforcement periods. During the 15 enforcement periods 2019 — which totaled 179 enforcement days — law enforcement made an average of 48 DUI arrests per day. There were 8,513 DUI arrests during those enforcement periods, a slight decrease from the 9,687 arrests in 2018.

Ninety-nine law enforcement agencies across Colorado participated in the 2019 New Year’s Eve enforcement period, with the Denver Police Department (33 arrests), El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (23 arrests) and the Colorado Springs Police Department (22 arrests) recording the highest arrest totals. CSP arrested an additional 82 DUI offenders across the state. Comprehensive results from all participating agencies can be found at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal. Arrest data is organized by law enforcement agency and enforcement period.

“A vehicle with an impaired driver behind the wheel is a serious threat to everyone on the road,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of CSP. “There are still far too many impaired drivers that could cause harm to people out on our state’s roadways. We hope Coloradans make a concerted effort in 2020 to only travel with sober drivers.” 

Preliminary data shows 176 people died in impaired-related crashes on Colorado roads in 2019.

The Heat Is On campaign will continue in 2020 with 16 heightened DUI enforcement periods. The 10-day Winter Blitz enforcement period begins on Jan. 17.

CDOT’s New Year’s Eve and Winter Blitz enforcement periods and DUI-prevention campaign 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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