With a holiday that includes not only giving thanks, but also eating, spending time with family and shopping, it is important for motorists to remember that the annual Thanksgiving “Heat Is On” crackdown will be underway over the holiday. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will join Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Colorado and Colorado State Patrol (CSP) to kick off the 2012 holiday crackdown on drunk driving by calling on Colorado residents to Tie One On For Safety.
MADD’s Tie One On For Safety red ribbon campaign, now in its 26th year, is the organization’s signature public awareness project. Drivers display MADD red ribbons on their vehicles as a reminder to drive safe and sober, and in support of Colorado law enforcement officers, who will be out in force as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
Thanksgiving “Heat Is On” enforcement by Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and dozens of local agencies throughout Colorado began Tuesday, Nov. 20, and will last until 3 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 26. Only weeks ago, the Halloween crackdown resulted in 570 DUI arrests in Colorado.
Last year during the Thanksgiving DUI enforcement period, there were seven fatal crashes involving seven fatalities. Four fatalities were attributed to alcohol and 453 DUI arrests were made by Colorado law enforcement agencies. The jurisdictions with the highest numbers of DUI arrests included Denver (53), Colorado Springs (36), Adam’s County (23), Aurora (17) and Larimer County (14).
“These aren’t just numbers to those of us at MADD Colorado who see on a daily basis the heartache and devastation caused by drunk driving crashes. These are family, friends, co-workers and neighbors,” said Fran Lanzer, MADD Colorado. “Holidays are a time for celebration; we don’t want them to be a time of tragedy. Please plan ahead for a sober designated driver if you’re going to celebrate with alcohol.”
“We are asking all Coloradans that are starting out this busy travel week for Thanksgiving to do the right thing by planning ahead for a sober ride home,” said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Our Troopers will be out in force to keep our roadways safe. Please tie a red ribbon on your vehicle or key chain as a constant reminder to make smart and safe driving choices throughout the holiday season. And, remember to always buckle up.”
Tie One On For Safety is presented locally by the law firm of Bell & Pollock. “This campaign is a great way to raise awareness about the importance of safe driving during the holidays,” said Gary Bell, Founding Partner. “The law firm of Bell & Pollock is proud to be MADD Colorado’s 2012 Victim Services Sponsor.”
This year, Metro Taxi has also joined as a local supporting sponsor. “For anybody who carries a smartphone, a friendly designated driver is just minutes away with a quick tap of our free Metro Taxi app,” said Metro Taxi Operations Manager Bobby McBride. “There is never an excuse to drink and drive and our goal is to make it easy for people in the community to avoid the strife of a DUI.”
MADD’s Tie One On For Safety red ribbons are available at Colorado State Patrol troop offices throughout the state. Ribbons are also available at select locations of Nationwide Insurance, the national presenting sponsor for the Tie One On For Safety holiday campaign. For more information, visit www.madd.org/co.
For more information about the Heat Is On, the latest enforcement plans and arrest results, visit www.HeatIsOnColorado.com.
To receive real-time updates about road conditions, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures is available at www.coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot.