Give thanks for sober drivers — Thanksgiving DUI enforcement begins Friday

Sam Cole, CDOT Communications Manager
303.757-9484 (desk) | 303-859-1304 (cell)
sam.cole@state.co.us

Special enforcement also in effect Friday in Larimer County

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Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, and, unfortunately, that means more impaired drivers on Colorado roads. In 2018, 4 out of the 5 Thanksgiving travel period road fatalities in Colorado involved an alcohol-impaired driver. To keep roads safe during holiday travel, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and 91 law enforcement agencies will ramp up DUI enforcement starting Friday, Nov. 22 through Monday, Dec. 2.

The effort is part of CDOT’s ongoing The Heat Is On campaign to enforce Colorado DUI and DWAI laws and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by impaired drivers in Colorado. Last year, law enforcement agencies arrested 593 impaired drivers during the 10-day Thanksgiving enforcement period.

In addition to the Thanksgiving enforcement period, Colorado and Wyoming law enforcement agencies will combine efforts to increase DUI enforcement on Nov. 22 in Larimer County. The enforcement period is aimed at keeping travelers safe during the football game between the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University. The patrol areas will include I-25 (between Cheyenne and Fort Collins) and US Highway 287 (between Fort Collins and Laramie). This multi-state, multi-agency enforcement will use saturation patrols to target impaired drivers.

“Impaired drivers put all roadway users at risk and jeopardize CDOT’s core mission to reduce the rate and severity of crashes on Colorado roads,” said Shoshana Lew, executive director of CDOT. “Law enforcement agencies will closely monitor roads across the state during these enforcement campaigns to ensure everyone gets home safely.”

CDOT urges Colorado residents and visiting drivers to plan ahead and arrange a sober ride home if you choose to drink. Ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber connect users directly with a nearby driver and public transportation is also available across the state.

“The CSP and local law enforcement officers will be sacrificing time with their families to apprehend impaired drivers during the CSU vs. WY Border War and throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” said Matthew Packard, chief of the CSP. “We urge people to travel safely and designate a sober driver. The four alcohol-driving related deaths on Colorado roads last Thanksgiving is four too many.”

The Thanksgiving enforcement period and DUI-prevention campaign support CDOT’s Whole System—Whole Safety initiative to reduce traffic injuries and deaths. Last year, there were 209 passenger vehicle fatalities on Colorado roads involving impaired drivers, accounting for more than one-third of all traffic fatalities in 2018. A complete list of arrests can be found at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

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