During the four-day period surrounding the New Year, 348 people were arrested on suspicion of impaired driving in Colorado.
That number exceeded the 334 people arrested during the same time last year, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Every year, CDOT and various police and sheriff’s agencies participate in the Heat Is On initiative where more officers patrol the roads around holidays, Super Bowl Weekend and the height of summer break.
In 2018, authorities made 8,315 DUI arrests during these periods, with an average of 48 arrests each day, according to CDOT. The number doesn’t include those who were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence outside the special enforcement dates.
“People made the wrong decision of New Years and paid the price for that,” CDOT spokesman Sam Cole said.
The length of the enforcement periods vary. The Super Bowl weekend enforcement starts on Jan. 31 and ends Feb. 3. The Spring Events period, meanwhile, begins on April 3 and ends on May 11, a total of 39 days. The enforcement periods tend to correspond with holidays that see a spike in DUI arrests, Cole said.
Denver led the state with 33 DUI arrests over the 2020 New Year’s Eve holiday and will deploy five more officers during the 11-day Winter Blitz, which begins on Jan. 17.
There were 176 DUI deaths in 2019, a number that could change pending toxicology reports, the release said. Agencies are hoping that Heat Is On will reduce that number for 2020.
“A vehicle with an impaired driver behind the wheel is a serious threat to everyone on the road,” Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard was quoted saying in the news release. “There are still far too many impaired drivers that could cause harm to people out on our state’s roadways.
SEE THE FULL STORY HERE by JAMES BURKY | firstname.lastname@example.org | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: January 8, 2020 at 6:02 p.m
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