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Summer DUI Arrests in Colorado Up From Last Year

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Colorado Department of Transportation

Colorado state troopers made more than 40% more drunk driving arrests this summer than last, according to Kirk Mitchell writing in The Denver Post, and that was before Labor Day weekend, when more than 550,000 state residents were expected to travel. That number represents an increase of 3.2% over last year, Mitchell reports. It is also the largest number of Labor Day holiday travelers since before the recession, according to Wave Dreher, AAA Colorado spokesperson, Mitchell writes.

The arrests were part of the state’s “100 Days of Heat” campaign, an effort by the State Patrol to eliminate drunk driving and reduce the number of accidents, as Jaryd Wilson writes for The campaign traditionally begins on Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend.

Wilson reports that troopers ended the campaign by making 104 total arrests over the Labor Day weekend, 73 of those for DUI or DUID. Alcohol is suspected in a factor in one fatal crash over the holiday weekend, Wilson writes, and lack of use of a seatbelt is a factor in a second fatal crash. State troopers issued 136 seatbelt citations during the holiday weekend, Wilson notes. He adds, “Final numbers for the campaign haven’t been released yet, and Labor Day weekend data does not include local law enforcement agencies such as police departments or sheriff’s offices.”

Mitchell quotes Trooper Josh Lewis, spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol:

‘The Labor Day weekend is kind of the last hurrah,’ Lewis said. ‘As much as we’ve publicized the 100 Days of Heat campaign and despite the consequences, people still go out and do what they want.’ […]

Even though there were more drunken-driving arrests this summer in Colorado than last year, there were fewer deaths caused by drunken drivers, Lewis said.

‘It looks like we got to some people before they crashed,’ he said.

In a comment below the article in The Denver Post, someone named Jon P wrote in response to another commenter who does not like the idea of “breathalizers” in all cars:

Thousands die each year because people who have never been caught can start their cars drunk. Every DUI charge is given after a car started with a drunk driver. An interlock on all cars would nullify the ability for anyone to get a DUI, much less kill someone else.

It may be inconvenient for me to have an interlock, but I sure don’t mind the guy who could kill my family having one on his car. I see saving thousands of lives each year as well worth any inconvenience. Don’t you?

When most people think of an interlock they think of the box you blow in. I do agree with you that requiring all vehicles to have such a device is the wrong thing to do. However, passive technology is being developed that wouldn’t require a driver to do anything different than they already do. If successful, all suffering and inconvenience would be gone. The only reason I can see for arguing against something like that is someone wanting the freedom to drink and drive.

Image by Colorado Department of Transportation.


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