The annual Heat Is On Holiday Parties DUI enforcement period starts Wednesday and drivers can expect a stout effort by law enforcement and highway officials, in partnership, to keep roads safe by curtailing impaired driving and strictly enforcing DUI laws.
The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies are gearing up to keep Colorado travelers safe from impaired drivers, according to a CDOT news release. The seasonal Heat Is On DUI enforcement period runs through Dec. 29 and drivers can expect sobriety checkpoints and law enforcement saturation patrols.
As of Dec. 1, there have been 620 fatalities on Colorado roads, of which 221, or 36%, involved an impaired driver, the release said. During last year’s Holiday Parties DUI enforcement period, law enforcement agencies arrested 349 impaired drivers. December marks National Impaired Driving Month.
“The holidays are a time for joyful memories with our friends, families, and communities, not mournful ones,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the CSP. “With all the options available, driving impaired should be a ‘thing of the past.’ So for those unwilling to do the right thing and make a plan before the party begins, our enforcement periods are intended as a holiday gift: to help prevent unnecessary tragedy caused by you on the road.”
As part of National Impaired Driving Prevention month, drivers are urged to never get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or prescription drugs, the release said.
“There have been 15,040 DUI arrests so far this year in Colorado,” according to the release. “On average, 20,000 people are arrested for impaired driving across Colorado annually — an average of 55 DUIs every day. CDOT continues to hold impaired driving prevention as a high priority statewide to help push towards zero deaths on Colorado roadways.”
The 2021 Thanksgiving Week enforcement period saw 86 police agencies make 155 arrests. 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. The New Year’s Eve weekend enforcement period runs from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2.
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