On Halloween weekend in Colorado, when many people were out trick-or-treating, 250 drivers may have thought they were giving themselves a treat by drinking alcoholic beverages and/or taking drugs. But the trick was on them when they were arrested for impaired driving, reported David Olinger for The Denver Post.
The Heat Is On
Colorado’s increased enforcement campaign for Halloween weekend, part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s “The Heat Is On” campaign, involved a saturation of the state’s roads with DUI patrols, as Sam Cole wrote in a CDOT press release. CDOT partnered with the Colorado State Patrol, and 78 local law enforcement agencies helped in the effort. The enforcement included sobriety checkpoints, heightened patrols, and more.
Although arrests this year were fewer than the 329 during the Halloween period in 2014, Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety, said much work is still needed the state to reverse the trend of drug-and-alcohol-related car accidents and road deaths:
We will continue to look at ways to educate the public on the dangers of driving impaired and work with law enforcement to ensure our roadways are safe.
Statewide CSP arrested 45 drivers for DUI. The police departments with the most arrests were Denver (50), Colorado Springs (34) and Aurora (36). Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said:
Unfortunately hundreds of drivers got behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs and they are now dealing with the real-life nightmare of a DUI arrest. Thankfully, those drivers were removed from our roadways, which enhanced the safety for not only themselves but other motorists on the road over Halloween weekend.
Authorities bring out The Heat Is On campaign during 12 enforcement periods each year, as CDOT writes. To help increase enforcement, CDOT uses state and federal funding to give grants to law enforcement agencies throughout the state to cover the costs of overtime enforcement.
To help boost public awareness of the campaign, CDOT’s Public Relations Office funds media relations, advertising, and community outreach with the help of federal funds.
CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety also provides federal grants for other impaired driving programs to make the roads safer. Those include DUI courts; training law enforcement in drugs evaluation and standard field sobriety testing; and a traffic safety resource prosecutor and a law enforcement coordinator.