STATEWIDE -- The new year often sparks a desire for change and resolution. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies will again share the resolution to keep Colorado roads safe in 2021 with a series of The Heat Is On enforcement periods. The agencies will work together during 16 high-visibility DUI enforcement efforts, beginning with the Winter Blitz DUI enforcement from Jan. 15-25.
Ninety-two agencies plan to boost DUI patrols during Winter Blitz. Last year, 588 arrests were made during the same enforcement period. More recently, a total of 167 impaired drivers were arrested during the New Year’s Eve DUI enforcement period from Dec. 29 to Jan. 2.
Current enforcement period plans for local areas are available at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal. Arrest totals are also available at that link.
“DUI’s go beyond short-term impacts like fees, fines, and court appearances. Each year thousands of Coloradoans experience the long-term shock waves from a DUI including driver’s license revocation, employment impacts, higher insurance rates, not to mention potential jail time. The good news is that DUIs are entirely preventable,” said Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “Our 2021 enforcement efforts will continue to include sobriety checkpoints, increased officers on duty, and concentrated patrols in high-risk areas to catch those that fail to think about the short and long-term impacts of driving while impaired.”
During the 16 heightened enforcement periods in 2020, 6,157 DUI arrests were made in Colorado. Also, 203 people were killed by suspected impaired drivers in 2020, up from 176 in 2019.
“Bringing everyone home safely remains our number one goal,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT Highway Safety Office Director. “DUI enforcement periods are critical in supporting a system-wide change to reduce death and injury for the traveling public.”
Although a major holiday season has come to an end, the state is still asking people to closely follow the evolving COVID-19 safety guidelines as a part of their daily routines. As restaurants, work spaces and other public areas increase capacity, remember to always wear a mask if you are out in public and stay six feet apart from others.
In December, CDOT and the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) helped Coloradans plan sober rides by providing free Lyft ride codes valued at $10 each throughout December as part of the “Gift of Lyft” campaign. More than 350 credits were claimed in Denver, Colorado Springs and Thornton — areas where DUI fatalities were the highest in 2019.
CDOT provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. 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. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. Learn more about CDOT’s dedication to keeping Colorado roads safe, including impaired driving enforcement objectives, arrest data and safety information at codot.gov/safety. Find more information about the campaign at HeatIsOnColorado.com. More information about DUI laws in Colorado can be found at NoDUIColorado.org.
ABOUT THE HEAT IS ON
The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. 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. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. Find more information about the campaign at HeatIsOnColorado.com.
WHOLE SYSTEM. WHOLE SAFETY.
In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization’s operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.
CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.