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Impaired Driving Arrests Up During July 4 Holiday

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R U Buzzed? app

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Colorado law enforcement officers issued 312 citations for impaired driving over the Fourth of July holiday enforcement period, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced yesterday.

The number of citations given out July 1-5 was an increase over the 271 issued during the same period last year. But, as Yesenia Robles writes for The Denver Post, “overall arrests have decreased since 2009 when a five-day period resulted in 572 arrests.”

Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol said:

It’s unfortunate that impaired drivers make the bad decision to put themselves and all others on the road in danger. With Colorado law enforcement agencies working sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, I’m sure many alcohol related crashes were avoided over the holiday weekend.

Of the 90 agencies across the state participating, the Colorado State Patrol made the most arrests, 64, followed by the Aurora Police Department, with 39 arrests, and the Colorado Springs Police Department, which made 33 arrests. In 2009, the Denver Police Department arrested 73 drivers, as opposed to 19 who were arrested in 2016.

Colorado Enforcement Periods

Colorado holds 12 “The Heat Is On” enforcement periods throughout the year. These high-visibility impaired driving enforcement periods are held around national holidays and large public events. In the five so far in 2016, law enforcement officials have arrests 2,983 impaired drivers.

The beefed-up enforcement can include saturation patrols, sobriety checkpoints, and the addition of extra officers on duty and assigned to impaired driving enforcement. As CDOT writes on its Alcohol and Impaired Driving page, the department gives grants to law enforcement agencies throughout the state for overtime DUI enforcement via state and federal funding. CDOT’s public relations office is able to cover its media relations, advertising, and community outreach costs through federal funding as well.

CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety uses federal grants for impaired driving programs including DUI courts, training for law enforcement in drug evaluation and standard field sobriety testing, and a traffic safety resource prosecutor and law enforcement coordinator.

Drive Safely — Not Just During Holidays

Colorado’s next enforcement period is around Labor Day, from August 19 to September 6. But why wait for a holiday to stay safe? The agency encourages drivers to download its free “R-U-Buzzed?” mobile app that makes it easy to check your blood alcohol level and call a cab if you are too impaired to drive.

It’s available for both iPhone and Android. CDOT also recommends downloading Lyft’s mobile app, which will summon a nearby driver to give you a ride home. The agency’s Alcohol and Impaired Driving page explains how to use the Lyft app, saying: “If you’re new to Lyft, sign up with the promo code CDOTRideSafe for a $20 credit on your first ride.”

You can also get $20 off your first Uber ride. To claim that discount, after downloading the Uber mobile app, you can enter the code NODUICO under “Promotions.”

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