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Colorado Crackdown on Holiday Drunk Driving Runs Through Jan. 1

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Poster courtesy of Delaware’s Designated Driver campaign.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies will continue their crackdown on drunk driving during the holidays through New Year’s Day, as the Journal-Advocate reports. The effort is also being supported by partners MADD Colorado, RTD, the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association, and MillerCoors, as CDOT’s Plan Ahead Colorado writes.

The crackdown seeks to encourage drivers to make responsible decisions if and when they celebrate the holidays by drinking alcohol, to prevent accidents, injuries, and deaths from drunk driving. Plan Ahead Colorado writes: “Each year in Colorado, nearly 200 people are killed in alcohol-related crashes and 25,000 drivers are arrested for DUI.”

According to preliminary reports, there were six fatalities in the state during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, four of which were reported as being caused by drivers who were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the Journal-Advocate reports.

The Journal-Advocate quotes Colonel James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colarado State Patrol:

If celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, it’s a fact that every single injury and death caused by drunk driving is totally preventable. Make smart driving choices by always arranging ahead of time for a sober ride home by public transportation or having a designated driver. Don’t ever let your friends drive drunk. Take their keys, have them stay the night, call a cab, or do whatever else is necessary — but don’t let them drive! And always remember to buckle up.

The average Colorado DUI can cost a driver as much as $10,270 and the loss of his or her driver’s license for up to a year, the Journal-Advocate points out. Plan Ahead Colorado urges people to plan ahead for holiday parties by designating a sober driver, finding a place to park the car overnight, and/or taking public transportation or a cab. MillerCoors is offering cab vouchers at participating restaurants and bars across the Front Range, and RTD is offering free rides on New Year’s Eve.

In addition, MADD Colorado is holding its annual Tie One On for Safety campaign, in which it encourages drivers to to display a red ribbon on their vehicles or keychains as a pledge to be safe and sober drivers this holiday season. You can find locations where you can get free red ribbons at www.madd.org/co. Drivers can also download the “R-U-Buzzed” app for Android and iPhone, which estimates their blood alcohol content and even calls a cab for them.

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