The Heat Is On - New Year's Enforcement Data

As Coloradans planned New Year's resolutions to start 2017, a number of impaired drivers found themselves beginning the year with severe legal and financial burdens.

From Dec. 30, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2017, 102 participating law enforcement agencies arrested 272 impaired drivers during The Heat Is On New Year's DUI enforcement—down from 396 arrests during last year's enforcement. One alcohol-related fatality was reported during the New Year's enforcement.

The New Year's enforcement was the final The Heat Is On enforcement of 2016. During last year's 12 enforcements, law enforcement arrested 7,272 drivers for DUI, according to preliminary results.

Those arrested during the enforcement will start the New Year with several stark realities. On average, a DUI can cost more than $13,500 after considering fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs. First-time DUI offenders can be punished with up to one year in jail, license suspension and expensive fines—and those penalties increase for repeat offenders.

The legal and financial implications of a DUI are undoubtedly serious, but the consequences of a DUI crash are far more devastating. According to CDOT's preliminary data, 197 people were killed in impaired driving crashes in Colorado in 2016—an 8 percent increase from the 182 fatalities recorded in 2015.

The rise in impaired fatalities is the third consecutive annual increase and comes in a year where Colorado saw its overall traffic fatalities climb by 10 percent. Similar to past years, impaired fatalities accounted for nearly one-third of the total traffic fatalities in the state.

CDOT remains committed to exploring inventive opportunities to educate the public about the risk of impaired driving in 2017; The Heat Is On enforcements will continue to support those efforts by removing impaired drivers from Colorado roads.

The campaign will resume with the 2017 Super Bowl enforcement period, Feb. 3-6.