With New Year’s Eve here, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is asking drivers to make early resolutions avoid driving drunk or impaired. If you’re planning to drive over the holiday weekend, keep in mind that the department is once again increasing its enforcement of DUI laws in the final The Heat Is On enforcement period of 2015, which began Wednesday and will continue until Monday, January 4.
The department has partnered with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and MillerCoors to provide free rides on all RTD bus, mall, and rail routes from 7 p.m. Thursday, December 31 through 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Day. You can see detailed information on the routes and schedules by visiting CoorsLightFreeRides.com before going out or by calling 1-800-FREE-RIDES (1-800-373-3743). You can also get more information by texting “RIDE” to 90464 when you are making plans for going out.
In addition, at least two Colorado law firms are offering to reimburse people for New Year’s Eve taxi fares: Sawayalaw.com in the Denver metro area, and mcdivittlaw.com for Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety, said:
DUI’s are completely preventable and no one should have to deal with losing a loved one entering the New Year. With the increase in rideshare services and alternative transportation options, there really is no excuse for a DUI. Many of these programs even offer special promotions on New Year’s to help get you home safely.
Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, urges Coloradans to help prevent friends and family from driving while impaired. All law enforcement agencies will be “highly visible” over the New Year’s holiday with a higher than usual number of DUI patrols, he said. And they will be arresting and citing people “who make the poor choice to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs.”
Avoiding Impaired Driving
During the same enforcement period last year, law enforcement officers arrested 329 drivers throughout the state for DUI. The highest numbers were 50 by the Colorado State Patrol; 49 by the Aurora Police Department; 47 by Denver Police; and 32 by the Colorado Springs Police Department.
The Coloradan writes that the “R-U-Buzzed BAC Calculator” is a free app available for both iPhone and Android that can help you to calculate your blood-alcohol level by computing your gender, weight, the number of hours you have been drinking, and the amount of beer, liquor and wine you have had. Although the app’s results can’t be used as legal evidence, The Coloradan writes, the BAC number it gives you can help you determine if you are too impaired to drive.
CDOT offers the following tips for party hosts to help prevent impaired driving:
- Have a lot of food and non-alcoholic drinks available
- When serving alcohol, use smaller cups to discourage guests from drinking large amounts
- Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the end of the party
- Plan to have activities and games that do not require alcohol
- Don’t think twice about taking someone’s keys if he or she has had too much to drink.