CDOT kicks off heightened DUI enforcement ahead of Memorial Day

News Release

May 15, 2023 - Statewide - Tips for safe driving during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

Haga clic aquí para ver este comunicado de prensa CDOT da inicio a una vigilancia intensa de DUI en anticipación al festivo del Día de los Caídos en español.

Statewide — As the temperatures rise and the days get longer, Coloradans are looking forward to fun in the sun. However, because summer activities often involve alcohol (or sometimes cannabis), the Colorado Department of Transportation is asking drivers to prioritize safety while enjoying the warmer weather. Starting May 16 CDOT, Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies will begin the Heat Is On Memorial Day DUI enforcement. For 21 days traffic safety patrols will be increased to help keep Colorado roadways safe from impaired drivers.

CDOT is also beginning its May Mobilization seat belt enforcement period today, May 15, as part of its Click It or Ticket campaign. This is the largest seat belt enforcement period of the year.

“As we kick off the summer season, remember to plan for a sober ride when attending celebrations and get-togethers,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Your Colorado State Troopers and statewide law enforcement agencies are dedicated to making sure everyone gets home safely and keeping Colorado roads free of impaired drivers.”

According to preliminary CDOT data, 24% of the drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2022 were between the ages of 25 and 34, and 40% of them were suspected of being impaired at the time of the crash.

Memorial Day also marks the start of the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, a period between Memorial Day and Labor Day that sees a spike in impaired driving. Last year there were 132 impaired driving arrests during the Memorial Day enforcement period, bringing the total number of DUI arrests during the 2022 summer enforcements to 1,598.

“Before going out, make a plan to get home safe,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “If you’re drinking, don’t drive. Have a sober driver ready to get you home. Use a rideshare service. There are many options for an impaired person to make it home alive — but none of them should include getting behind the wheel.”

Planning for a busy summer? Here are more of CDOT’s tips for staying safe on the road:

  • Plan ahead. Have a designated sober driver
  • Seat belts. Always buckle up when in a vehicle
  • Drop the distraction. Set your phone on Do Not Disturb mode
  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. If you feel different, you drive different
  • Use a rideshare service, a taxi or mass transit to avoid driving impaired

The Spring Events enforcement period, which ran from April 7-24, concluded with 618 DUI arrests across 78 participating agencies. The agencies with the highest number of arrests were the Colorado Springs Police Department (138), Denver Police Department (56) and Thornton Police Department (34). CSP arrested 238 impaired drivers.

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

2023 statewide year-to-date impaired driving fatalities across Colorado
Caption: 2023 statewide year-to-date impaired driving fatalities across Colorado. Data reported as of May 1, 2023. Driving fatalities by county are as follows: Adams County 8, Arapahoe County 6, El Paso County 6, Denver County 5, Jefferson County 5, Larimer County 4 and Weld County 4. The statewide total is 60 fatalities.

Crash Not Accident

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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