As Coloradans prepare to celebrate the end of summer over Labor Day weekend, statewide law enforcement officers are preparing for the Labor Day DUI enforcement period from Aug. 21-Sept. 8. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies are teaming together to increase law enforcement patrol, protecting Colorado roadways from dangerous, impaired drivers.
Fatal crashes due to DUI on Colorado roads between January and July rose from 28% of fatalities in 2019 to 30% in 2020. This increase is more of a concern, considering there were fewer vehicles on the roads due to the pandemic.
“Summer holidays are a time to relax with friends and family. Unfortunately, they’re also a time when we see an increase in impaired driving crashes,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of CSP. “Save yourself the trouble of a DUI and plan for a way home that doesn’t involve getting behind the wheel while impaired by drugs or alcohol.”
The 2020 Labor Day enforcement period will have increased patrols across 81 law enforcement agencies. Both the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and Sterling Police Department plan to have extra officers on the lookout for impaired drivers. Last year, 99 agencies participated, resulting in 899 DUI arrests, with Denver and Colorado Springs police departments reporting the highest count of impaired driving arrests. Law enforcement encourages Coloradans to make a smart and safe decision to have a sober ride home, if traveling over the holiday weekend.
On Aug. 29 MADD will join law enforcement as they step up patrols, conduct sobriety checkpoints and increase public service messaging to remind everyone that if you drive drunk or impaired by other drugs, you will get caught. About 250 law enforcement agencies are participating in Saturation Saturday nationwide.
One way Coloradans can make smarter, safer decisions is with a personal breathalyzer. Labor Day marks the last full week of the partnership between CDOT and BACtrack®, a leading personal breathalyzer company. CDOT teamed up with BACtrack this summer to offer Colorado residents 50% off a personal BACtrack breathalyzer to get more breathalyzers in the hands of Coloradans, and educate them about blood alcohol content (BAC) levels to reduce impaired driving. Colorado residents can visit codot.bactrack.com to purchase either the BACtrack Mobile Pro, Trace Pro, C8, or C6 with the discount through Sept. 15, or while supplies last.
More than 1,100 Colorado residents have purchased BACtrack breathalyzers since the 50% discount became available in early-July. Last year, more than 1,400 Coloradans purchased breathalyzers through the entire campaign from July-October. For more information about previous CDOT and BACtrack breathalyzer campaigns, visit HeatIsOnColorado.com.
This summer, CDOT’s Take Some Time campaign can be seen across the state on billboards, buildings, social media, and in liquor stores. The campaign aims to educate and raise awareness of the time it takes for a person’s BAC to return to zero after consuming alcohol.
To bring the Take Some Time campaign to life, CDOT is creating a large-scale display reinforcing that a single alcoholic drink can impair a person for two hours and that the only appropriate time to drive is with a BAC of zero. The display will emulate an alcoholic beverage glass slowly draining over two hours, and then refilling to repeat the process. The installation will launch early September in a high-visibility location near the Denver-Metro area.
Read about CDOT’s dedication to keeping Colorado roads safe, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips at codot.gov/safety.
By COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION |
PUBLISHED: August 21, 2020 at 8:21 p.m. | UPDATED: August 21, 2020 at 8:22 p.m.