CDOT prepares for heightened DUI enforcement as Sturgis Rally rides through Colorado

News Release

August 2, 2023 - Statewide Safety News - 4,644 impaired crashes happened overnight since 2019

Haga clic aquí para ver este comunicado de prensa El Departamento de Transporte de Colorado refuerza la vigilancia de DUI mientras el Sturgis Rally atraviesa el estado en español.

Statewide — As thousands of motorcyclists gear up to ride across state lines, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies will unite to keep impaired drivers - and riders - off Colorado roads. During the Sturgis Rally DUI enforcement period from Aug. 3–15, there will be increased safety patrols aiming to keep all motorists safe.

The annual rally brings motorcyclists from across the nation through Colorado to Sturgis, North Dakota for the annual festival. Regardless of when and where riders are on the road, motorcyclists are urged to ride sober during their travels. Last year 308 DUI arrests were made during the same heightened enforcement period.

“If you are planning to drink, you also need to plan a sober ride,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, CSP Chief. “We want Coloradans to enjoy summer activities but also remember to never drive impaired. Rally participants have a long ride ahead of them, and everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings at all times on the road.”

While Sturgis Rally riders will be traveling day and night on their way to South Dakota, most impaired crashes tend to occur at night. A 2023 CSP report shows that from January 2019 to April 2023, most impaired fatal, injury and property crashes occurred during evening hours (6 p.m. to 9:59 p.m.) and late night (10 p.m. to 1:59 a.m.) hours. A total of 4,644 impaired crashes happened at night during that time period.

The Heat is On Graphic with text "Rally Responsibly. Ride Sober."

“With more people on our roads during the rally, it’s especially important to drive sober or plan a safe ride home,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “It is up to all motorists and riders to remember the consequences and dangers of getting behind the wheel or handlebars under the influence.”

Planning on driving at night? Here are a few reminders:

  • Plan a sober ride home before heading out.
  • Make sure rideshare is available for your guests to use if you are hosting a gathering.
  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Even one drink is enough to impair your driving ability.

The previous Summer Strikeout enforcement period concluded with 171 DUI arrests across 69 participating law enforcement agencies. The agencies with the highest number of arrests were Colorado Springs Police Department (28), Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (12) and Longmont Police Department (23). Additionally, CSP reported 33 arrests.

For yearly impaired driving crash and fatality data in Colorado, visit For local law enforcement agency plans, visit

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