Sober rides are always in season: Increased Fall DUI enforcement begins Thursday

News Release

September 12, 2023 - Statewide Safety News - Longest DUI enforcement of 2023 aims to keep roads free of impaired drivers

Haga clic aquí para ver este comunicado de prensa Llegar al destino con un conductor sobrio siempre está de temporada: la campaña de DUI del otoño empieza el jueves en español.

Statewide — Fall festivities seem endless in Colorado, but there’s only one choice when it comes to driving impaired — don’t do it. From Sept. 14 through Oct. 25, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol will join forces with local law enforcement agencies for the Fall Festivals DUI enforcement period. Spanning 41 days, this is the longest enforcement period of the year and will bring an increased presence of DUI patrols across the state.

Last year, there were 1,407 impaired driving arrests during the same enforcement period. Therefore, CDOT recommends always planning for a sober ride to and from your fall activities, whether it’s a big football game or just a backyard barbeque with friends.

So far in 2023, there have been 3,788 DUI arrests during heightened enforcement periods. Also to date there have been 148 traffic fatalities from crashes involving an impaired driver.

“That’s 148 people that won’t make it home to their families,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol Chief. “On a very basic and personal level, you need to ask yourself how you can get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you've been drinking alcohol or consuming drugs. Our enforcement efforts are one way to prevent impaired driving deaths, but this is an ongoing epidemic that can only be reversed when this choice becomes personal and you, your friends and your loved ones commit to sober driving."

2023 Impaired Driving Fatalities Highest Counties Graph
Data graph that shows 2023 impaired driving fatalities across Colorado. The graph reads Adams and Arapahoe as the counties with the highest fatalities at 16, followed by Jefferson at 14, and Denver and El Paso County at 13.

Reminders to stay safe this season:

  • Plan ahead and find a sober ride before leaving your home
  • Use a rideshare service to or from activities if you are planning to drink
  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Even one drink is enough to impair your driving ability

“No matter the time of year or occasion, you should never be in the driver’s seat if you are under the influence of any substance,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “We are doing our part to keep Colorado roads safe; do your part and choose a sober ride every time.”

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