Larimer County is one of only three communities in Colorado that has been awarded funds from The Colorado Office of Behavioral Health Persistent Drunk Driving and Law Enforcement Assistance Fund grants. The goal is to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances by increasing community responsibility for safe and responsible driving.
Partners Mentoring Youth, who absorbed this, among other work, from the former non-profit, Team Wellness & Prevention, is the lead agency on this five-year project which is now in its third year. Partners Mentoring Youth has engaged a steering committee and named the project NO DUI LARIMER. “This project aligns with our organization’s commitment to promoting positive decisions and a safe and well community. Effective work in this arena will benefit youth and adults alike. We are excited to be working with such a broad group of community members to guide and direct this county-wide project,” said Heather Vesgaard, Executive Director of Partners Mentoring Youth.
No DUI Larimer’s steering committee has representatives serving from a broad base of interested parties including; The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, City of Loveland PD, UCHealth, City of Fort Collins PD, Colorado State Patrol, My Big Day Marketing & Events, Bullfrog Liquors, Mulberry Max Liquors, Health District of Northern Larimer County, Omni Institute, Peer Assistance Services, Partners Mentoring Youth, CSU Police Department, CSU College of Health & Human Sciences, Data Action Change, Responsible Association of Retailers, Smokey’s 420, and Larimer County Dept. of Health & Environment.
Areas of focus for this group include:
- A media campaign that increases the community’s understanding of its role to prevent drunk and drugged driving
- Changing local conditions to promote responsible and safe driving
- Integrating DWAI/DUI messaging with the promotion of local dining and drinking to be responsive to the climate of businesses post COVID19
- Collaborating with law enforcement efforts and agencies, and formalizing county-wide collaboration
- Using GIS mapping for strategic planning of enforcement and integration with a public messaging campaign
In 2019 more than 8,500 people were arrested for driving under the influence in Colorado. A needs assessment completed in October 2018 found that DUI/DWAI offenses are a significant issue in Larimer County due to a number of factors on which the dedicated members of the steering committee will focus through education, outreach, and policy change.