Vail Valley law enforcement included in state’s latest DUI enforcement push
DENVER — Summer has arrived and, with it, increased DUI patrols across Colorado. The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up to crack down on impaired drivers during The Heat Is On Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period going on now through Monday.
In 2016, June, July and August recorded the highest number of monthly roadway fatalities involving impaired drivers during the year, with 21, 22 and 22 fatalities respectively. This accounts for 31 percent of all roadway fatalities (207) during this time.
“Historically, summer in Colorado is marked by an increase in impaired driving arrests,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the office of transportation safety at CDOT. “Working with Colorado State Patrol and law enforcement partners, our goal is to keep Coloradans safe by removing impaired drivers and eliminating alcohol-related deaths on our roads this summer.”
During the Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period, drivers can expect additional patrols, checkpoints and extra officers on duty looking for impaired drivers. A total of 83 law enforcement agencies across the state are participating.
“Summer is the deadliest season on Colorado’s roads, in part because of impaired drivers who choose to get behind the wheel,” said Colorado State Patrol Chief Col. Scott Hernandez. “An average of 77 impaired drivers are arrested in Colorado every day — a number that could be reduced to zero if everyone simply planned ahead and designated a sober ride.”
In addition to the serious safety risks associated with impaired driving, a DUI can cost more than $13,500 after considering fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs. Penalties increase for repeat offenders.
The Heat Is On will return for the Fourth of July DUI enforcement period from June 30 to July 5.
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 http://www.HeatIsOnColorado.com.
It would be really hard to spark a wildfire anywhere near Vail Mountain or Beaver Creek right now. Still, unattended campfires will always draw attention.