Colorado to drain DUI fund |

Colorado to drain DUI fund

Kevin Vaughan
The Denver Post

Gov. Bill Ritter, struggling to close a budget gap estimated at $318 million, plans to divert more than $1.3 million intended to fight drunken driving to help fill the shortfall.

The money, raised by a surcharge imposed on everyone convicted of an alcohol-related traffic offense in Colorado, has been used to pay overtime for cops working the “Heat Is On” crackdowns on long holiday weekends.

The campaign planned for the upcoming Labor Day weekend will be the last funded by those grants if the legislature approves Ritter’s plan.

“We’re not going to be able to maintain the same level of DUI enforcement in Colorado,” said Stacey Stegman, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

“Public safety is of the utmost importance, and we are going to continue to make sure that our streets are patrolled and that the danger posed by drunken drivers is minimized to the extent possible,” said Evan Dreyer, Ritter’s spokesman.

At stake is money in the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund, or LEAF, which was created in 1983.

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