Western Slope Law Enforcement Champions Announced by CDOT and MADD

News Release

May 10, 2023 - Northwestern Colorado - Winners of the 2023 Law Enforcement Champion awards for the Western Slope and Mountain regions

Grand Junction - At a ceremony today the Colorado Department of Transportation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced the winners of the 2023 Law Enforcement Champion awards for the Western Slope and Mountain regions. These awards focus on efforts to reduce impaired driving, increase the use of seat belts and reduce speeding.

The Law Enforcement Champion award winners are:

  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Occupant Protection: Colorado State Patrol / Western Slope - Trooper Henry Netherton (Montrose)
  • Outstanding Dedication to Underage Drinking Prevention and Enforcement - Trooper Derrick Heller, Colorado State Patrol (Golden)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Occupant Protection: Colorado State Patrol / Western Slope - Troop 5c, Colorado State Patrol (Montrose)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement - Western Slope/Colorado State Patrol - Trooper Ben Carnes, Colorado State Patrol (Grand Junction)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Local Law Enforcement / Western Slope - Officer Felipe Gomez, Glenwood Springs Police Department (Glenwood Springs)
  • Outstanding Victim Advocate - Alicia Bourdon-Goure, Colorado State Patrol (Grand Junction)

“We are ever grateful to the brave men and women in law enforcement who keep our roads and communities safe,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “At CDOT, we take a holistic approach to safety on our transportation system, which includes recognizing the role of public safety officials in keeping impaired drivers off our road, promoting seat belt use and enforcing speed limits.”

A law enforcement champion is an individual that shows outstanding support for impaired driving, traffic safety or occupant protection enforcement. This can be demonstrated by the number of dangerous drivers removed from the roadways or arrests made during the established enforcement periods throughout the year. It can also be demonstrated by drug recognition expert activity, high visibility enforcement tactics and other related activities.

“So many people will never know the debt that they owe to our law enforcement heroes. Every time they stop a drunk or drugged driver, they potentially save a life,” said MADD Colorado State Executive Director Fran Lanzer. “We’re fortunate to have so many dedicated men and women protecting our communities.”

Sponsors of the event included presenting sponsor firm Bachus & Schanker with Uber, Lime, Safeway, the Colorado State Patrol Association, and HEI Civil.

Approximately one-third of traffic fatalities involve an impaired driver in Colorado. In addition, most traffic fatalities involve an unbuckled driver or passenger. Seat belts save an estimated 225 lives in Colorado each year. An additional 70 lives could have been saved if everyone in Colorado buckled up. The current seat belt use rate is 87%.

CDOT provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving and seat belt enforcement campaigns. The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 15 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. More details about impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.

There are three high visibility seat belt enforcement periods that take place each year in Colorado. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit SeatBeltsColorado.com.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.