Spring into action: plan sober rides

Traffic Safety Pulse News

Impaired drivers were involved in nearly 33% of all motor vehicle deaths in 2020

Spring brings a welcomed glimpse into warmer weather, offering Coloradans and tourists myriad outdoor activities that make our state a desirable place to live and visit. To remind the traveling public to stay responsible on state roads and highways during their spring plans, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies began the Spring DUI enforcement period from April 2 to May 10.

Safety remains a top priority for all CDOT initiatives. CDOT urges Coloradans to continue to take precautions when around people outside of their household to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “As temperatures warm and more Coloradans are vaccinated, we expect more people to be on our roadways. Everyone is eager to get back to normal, but this isn't an excuse to be careless if consuming alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs,” said Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “Make a plan before you consume an impairing substance. Your decision boils down to being responsible or being reckless. Never put an innocent life in harm’s way.”

Last year’s Spring DUI enforcement period resulted in 468 DUI arrests. This year, 84 law enforcement agencies are planning to increase DUI patrols. Removing impaired drivers from Colorado roads before they crash is the goal of the campaign. This saves lives and helps everyone get home alive.

During the recent St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement, 101 agencies arrested 206 impaired drivers. This is an increase from last year’s 195 arrests during the same enforcement period. The Colorado Springs Police Department (33 arrests), CSP/Troop 1-A Golden (11 arrests), Denver Police Department (10 arrests), and Lakewood Police Department (10 arrests) recorded the highest number of arrests during the enforcement. The Colorado State Patrol made 35 arrests. Results for all law enforcement agencies across the state can be found at https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

2021 St. Patrick's Day EP DUI Arrests

DUI Deaths 2021

Last year, impaired drivers were involved in nearly 33% of all fatal crashes in Colorado. This resulted in the deaths of 208 roadway users in the state, including pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers. As of March 31, 2021, 34 fatalities in Colorado have involved an impaired driver this year. This is a decrease from the 40 fatalities that occurred between Jan. 1 - March 31, 2020.

“The excuse of not knowing if you are impaired is not acceptable. Consuming any amount of alcohol or marijuana puts you at risk of a DUI,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “If you plan to drink, it’s your responsibility to be proactive before getting behind the wheel and plan for a sober ride home. If you see someone reach for their keys after drinking, speak up and don’t let them drive.” Find local agency plans and total arrests for The Heat Is On enforcement periods at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal. Information about DUI laws in Colorado can be found at NoDUIColorado.org.