Colorado police have released the number of arrests from their Halloween DUI crackdown. As CBS4 Denver reported on Wedneday, law enforcement officials arrested more than 560 drivers across the state for DUI during their annual Halloween “Heat is On” crackdown. The crackdown began at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, and ran through Thursday, Nov. 1.
The Gazette writes that Denver topped the list with 72 arrests, and Colorado Springs ranked second, with 46 arrests, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). CBS4 notes that in addition to Denver and Colorado Springs, there were 42 arrests in Aurora, 33 in Adams County, and 29 in Fort Collins, comprising the five areas with the largest number of impaired drivers during the Halloween weekend.
October traffic fatalities from alcohol- and drug-related accidents have decreased over the last four years, for the most part, The Gazette writes. During October 2012, there were 43 deaths on Colorado roads, 12 of which were alcohol or drug related. Three of the crash deaths involving impaired drivers occurred during the Halloween crackdown, CDOT said. In 2011, 10 people died in crashes involving an impaired driver as compared with 17 in 2010 and 26 in 2009, The Gazette writes.
CBS4 spoke with the state police chief:
‘It is very discouraging that 564 motorists in Colorado chose to drive impaired when celebrating with alcohol,’ said Col. James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the CSP. ‘It’s not a complicated message: ‘Don’t drink and drive.’ The second part of the message is ‘Always designate a sober driver if drinking, or arrange for another safe way to travel.’ Driving impaired anytime is not only illegal, but extremely irresponsible as it can lead to tragic consequences for themselves and for other motorists on our roads. And, always remember to buckle up.’
Drivers also need to be especially careful during the upcoming holiday season. The Denver Post reports that CDOT transportation safety director Darrell Lingk said, “Officers will continue to be on the lookout for impaired drivers, especially during the holiday season.”
The organization Don’t Drink and Drive provides the following statistics:
- An alcohol-related crash occurs every 32 minutes in the U.S.
- Approximately one-third of pedestrians 16 or older who were killed by automobiles were under the influence of alcohol.
- Out of every five Americans, nearly two will be involved in a DUI-related crash in their lives.
- Every year, nationwide, approximately 534,000 people suffer injuries in alcohol-related traffic collisions; 40,000 of these are serious injuries.
- Drivers ages 16-24 are involved in 29% of all fatal alcohol-related crashes in the U.S.