10-day Thanksgiving DUI crackdown begins Friday across Colorado | VailDaily.com

10-day Thanksgiving DUI crackdown begins Friday across Colorado

Steamboat Today staff report

As Thanksgiving motorists flock to Colorado roads to celebrate with friends and family, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and statewide law enforcement agencies will ramp up DUI enforcement efforts to keep Colorado roads safe from impaired drivers.

Starting Friday, Nov. 17 through Monday, Nov. 27, 111 agencies will participate in the campaign, which could include checkpoints, saturation patrols or an increased number of patrols.

During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2016, there were six fatalities on Colorado roads, one of which involved an impaired driver.

The effort is part of CDOT’s ongoing “The Heat Is On” campaign to enforce Colorado DUI and DWAI laws to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by impaired drivers in Colorado. Last year, 101 law enforcement agencies arrested 522 impaired drivers during the same 10-day enforcement period.

“We know Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and celebration, but we want Colorado’s residents and holiday guests to understand that impaired driving will not be tolerated,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Make a plan. If you’re going to drink at all, arrange a sober ride home. Otherwise, you put yourself and others at risk.”

There are several options available for those you need to find a sober ride home. Ride-hailing services like Lyft, Uber and zTrip connect users directly with a nearby driver. Public transportation is also available across the state.

“CSP and local agencies will be active in tracking down as many impaired drivers as possible during this enforcement period,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We urge people to wear seat belts, travel safely and consume responsibly. Many people don’t understand that even small amounts of alcohol or marijuana can be dangerous. One irresponsible decision can impact the lives of many.”

CDOT recommends personal breathalyzers as a resource for checking your blood-alcohol content to confirm you are sober before you drive. CDOT’s R-U-Buzzed app is another useful DUI-prevention resource. The app allows users to track their blood-alcohol content level based on information they enter — weight, gender and the number and type of drinks consumed in a given time. The app compares the user’s estimated BAC with Colorado’s DUI and DWAI laws, and includes a “Back to Zero” estimate, which approximates when the user will be completely sober after they stop drinking. Download the free R-U-Buzzed app for iPhone and Android: onelink.to/r-u-buzzed.

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 14 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. More details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at heatisoncolorado.com.

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