Finding a sober ride is easy as pie — holiday season begins with DUI enforcement

News Release

November 22, 2021 - Statewide News - Over 250,000 Colorado roadway users have been arrested for DUI since 2010

STATEWIDE — As Coloradans celebrate Thanksgiving to start the holiday season, CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies are gearing up for The Heat Is On Thanksgiving Week DUI enforcement period from Nov. 24 – 28. Increased DUI patrols will be on duty statewide over the holiday weekend to remove impaired drivers from our roads.

Since 2010, there have been more than 250,000 drivers in Colorado who have been arrested for DUI. While alcohol continues to be involved in most instances of impaired driving, cases involving other drugs are also rising.  

“Your Colorado State troopers and local law officers will be sacrificing time with their families to eliminate the threat that impaired drivers present to motorists on our roadways,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “History has shown us that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the holiday weekend is an extremely popular time for people to gather and excessively drink. Don't ruin your holiday or anyone else's, plan for a sober ride."

During last year’s Thanksgiving Week enforcement period from Nov. 20-30, 104 law enforcement agencies arrested 354 impaired drivers. Local law enforcement agency plans and arrest results across the state can be found at

Last year one motorist died in a crash involving an impaired driver during the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

“Even one life taken by an impaired driver is one too many,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “With so many alternative transportation options, there’s no excuse to drive after consuming an impairing substance. If you plan on drinking or consuming marijuana, don’t drive. It is that simple.”

A DUI conviction after fines, legal fees and increased insurance, can cost a person over $13,000. Many people are repeat DUI offenders. The five counties with the highest number of people with two or more DUI convictions in 2020 are:

  • El Paso (764)
  • Larimer (466)   
  • Jefferson (454)
  • Adams (409)  
  • Arapahoe (391)  

Over Halloween Weekend, 155 drivers were arrested for a DUI during heightened enforcement. The final enforcement period of the year is The Holiday Parties DUI enforcement period from Dec. 15-29. 

DUI Arrests graph

For yearly impaired-driving crash and fatality data in Colorado, visit Information about DUI laws in Colorado can be found at For trends involving impaired driving court cases, drug toxicology results, and other impaired driving data, visit the Colorado Driving Under the Influence (DUI) dashboard at  

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 More information about DUI laws in Colorado can be found at Learn more about CDOT’s dedication to keeping Colorado roads safe, including impaired driving enforcement objectives, arrest data and safety information at

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.