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The Heat is On produces DUI arrests

According to preliminary reports, there were 318 DUI arrests and five alcohol-related car crashes that occurred during the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Memorial Day DUI enforcement period resulting in six fatalities — an increase in fatalities from this time last year.

DUI arrests are down from 542 DUI arrests last year made statewide during the Memorial Day Weekend enforcement period.

“Law enforcement was out on the roads to reduce the number of impaired drivers and to remind Coloradans that if you make the dangerous decision to drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you will get caught,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Our priority is keeping the roads safe for drivers and it’s unfortunate that 318 people were arrested this weekend for their unsafe acts.”

The 100 deadliest days on Colorado roads began on Friday, May 24, and CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), and local law enforcement agencies have increased DUI enforcement to ensure roads stay safe through Labor Day.

“Each year, we heighten our enforcement efforts during this holiday and it’s frustrating that so many Coloradans decide to put themselves and others in danger by driving impaired,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “The CSP and law enforcement throughout the state will continue conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols this summer with the expectation that this year the 100 deadliest days on Colorado roads will be safer.”

The Persistent Drunk Driver (PDD) Committee has released the top 10 counties for DUI offenses in 2012: Adams (2,970), Denver (2,932), El Paso (2,738), Arapahoe (2,666), Jefferson (1,790), Weld (1,139), Larimer (1,032), Boulder (1,017), Douglas (862) and Pueblo (671). Statewide statistics on the PDD website show that DUI offenses have decreased over the past year by five percent, with 1,321 less offense filings. The website, developed by four state agencies on the PDD Committee, serves as a resource to help Coloradans make safer choices before getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or other drugs.

The Heat Is On runs the entire year with 12 specific DUI enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large, public events. More details about the DUI enforcement plans and arrest results can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com. The PDD Committee was formed as part of the Persistent Drunk Driver Act of 1998. The Committee is made up of the Colorado Department of Transportation, Department of Human Services, State Judicial Branch and the Department of Revenue. The Committee is charged with developing and implementing programs to deter persistent drunk and drug-related driving, as well as provide public education. A persistent drunk driver is defined as someone with two or more alcohol or drug related driving violations or someone with a BAC of .17 or higher, even if it’s their first offense. For more information on the PDD Committee, visit NoDUIColorado.org.

This story was posted on June 6, 2013.