Fall into good habits, leave impaired driving behind

News Release

September 14, 2022 - Statewide - Biggest DUI enforcement period of the year starts tomorrow

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Statewide — The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will begin the Fall Festivals high-visibility DUI enforcement period on Sept. 15, running through Oct. 24. This is the longest DUI enforcement period of the year.

With the change in seasons, return of football and popularity of pumpkin-spiced cocktails, there’s no better time to turn over a new leaf and commit to never driving impaired.

There were 190 traffic fatalities in June, July and August in Colorado. Of those, 63 or 33% involved an impaired driver. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there were 1,577 DUI arrests during heightened DUI enforcement periods.

“Your life, and the lives of others, shouldn’t be gambled with,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "A night of fun will never be worth ruining your future or stealing someone else's. DUI enforcement is not about a citation — it’s a commitment we make to save lives.”

From Jan. 1 to Sept. 2, there have been 3,590 alcohol-suspected crashes in Colorado. El Paso County leads those crash numbers, accounting for 13% (482) of those crashes. Alcohol-suspected crashes in Adams County accounted for approximately 12% (421) of the crashes, and Denver County drivers make up 11% (401), making it the third highest county for the number of alcohol-suspected crashes.

Preliminary data shows the recent Labor Day enforcement period concluded with 586 arrests from 109 participating agencies. The agencies with the highest number of arrests were the Colorado State Patrol (114), Colorado Springs Police Department (72), Denver Police Department (71) and Aurora Police Department (35).

“The choice is in your hands. Do you want to make it home safe or risk your freedom with a DUI?” asked CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “By planning for a safe and sober ride, you’ll avoid the consequences of a DUI and help prevent the next drunk driving death.”

During enforcement periods, drivers may see sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement.

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