Colorado cops make 624 drunk driving arrests | VailDaily.com

Colorado cops make 624 drunk driving arrests

Staff Report

Police agencies across the state have made 624 drunk driving arrests since Dec. 19 during increased holiday enforcement that will continue until Jan. 4, says the Colorado State Patrol.

The Holiday DUI mobilization includes sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols statewide tonight—New Year’s Eve, the State Patrol says.

“The Colorado Department of Transportation coordinates this campaign to prevent needless tragedies,” said Colonel Mark Trostel, chief of the State Patrol. “The holiday season is an especially high-risk time for impaired driving. Last year, on New Year’s Eve, there were two traffic deaths and both involved alcohol.”

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office reports making 11 drunk driving arrests between Dec. 19 and Monday.

During a similar holiday enforcement period last year, agencies made 135 DUI arrests on New Year’s Eve. This was the highest number of DUI arrests made in a single night during the 16-day enforcement period. Trostel says he hopes drivers will make better choices this year.

“Reports so far show that there were fewer DUI arrests during the second weekend of enforcement, compared to the first weekend,” said Trostel. “We hope this positive trend continues and more people make the responsible choice to designate a sober driver.”

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For drivers who don’t heed the warnings, troopers and officers from 73 law enforcement agencies will be conducting overtime DUI enforcement patrols tonight through Sunday.

“The simple acts of designating drivers, using alternative transportation and buckling up do make a difference,” said Trostel. “Preliminary results show a reduction in traffic deaths in Colorado in 2003. This positive trend means lives saved.”

According to preliminary information, traffic deaths in Colorado have decreased 13 percent. From Jan. 1 through Dec. 22, 597 people died on Colorado highways, compared to 690 deaths during the same period in 2002.