News

CDOT starts summer season with Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period

June 11, 2020 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Law enforcement made 585 arrests during last year’s enforcement period

Summer weather is here, and so are the many sun-centric activities Coloradans enjoy across the state. Unfortunately, with the warmer weather comes a three-month peak for impaired driving. For the past four years, the three-month period between June and August has had the highest passenger vehicle fatality total of any other three-month period.

To combat impaired driving in the state, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement are back for the Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period. Starting Friday, increased law enforcement will be out across the state to crack down on impaired drivers and prevent the number of fatal crashes this summer. The Summer Blitz enforcement period will continue through Monday, June 22.

The Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period was preceded by the Memorial Day DUI enforcement period. As a result of this increased enforcement, 84 statewide law enforcement agencies joined together and arrested 232 impaired drivers, a decrease from last year’s 323 arrests. The Colorado Springs Police Department (27 arrests) and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (22 arrests) recorded the highest arrest totals. CSP arrested an additional 64 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.

“Nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities involve an impaired driver. We need Coloradans making safe choices when it comes to drinking and driving – for everyone’s well-being on the road,” said Shoshana Lew, executive director of CDOT.  Working towards zero deaths means that we must all do our part. Lives depend on it.” 

Last year’s Summer Blitz enforcement period resulted in a total of 585 DUI arrests from 108 agencies across the state. This year’s enforcement period will include more than 77 law enforcement agencies.

“Colorado State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for impaired drivers throughout this enforcement period,” said Colonel Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We want Coloradans, residents, and visitors to enjoy the summer, but it is our job to ensure drivers on Colorado roads are safe, and not driving impaired. Please help us lower fatal crash numbers by always traveling with a sober driver.”  

The Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period is part of CDOT’s The Heat Is On traffic safety campaign on impaired driving, aimed at keeping drivers aware of their consumption and off of the road when impaired. The campaign also supports CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program. 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. Remember, if you’re back on the road and away from your home, always plan for a sober driver to bring you home safely. Do not drink and drive.

 

COVID-19

Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, road maintenance and construction continues on CDOT projects with 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, wearing face masks, staying at home when possible, and avoiding nonessential travel. With fewer vehicles on the roads, CDOT crews will be able to work more efficiently and safely.

 

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

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