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DUI enforcement period for holiday party season starts Friday - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

DUI enforcement period for holiday party season starts Friday

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The 'Heat is On Holiday Parties' DUI enforcement period begins this Friday, December 1 and will run through December 11. Prepare for an increase in Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement patrols to crack down on impaired drivers.

CDOT said last year 102 agencies arrested 568 impaired drivers during the 10-day enforcement period, an average of 57 per day. 

You can be proactive every time you go out for a drink or spend time with friends by utilizing a personal breathalyzer on your smartphone.

CDOT launched their 2017 Breathalyzer Program earlier in the year with the goal of reducing the number of DUI-related fatalities and offenses in the state.

CDOT teamed up with BACtrack to promote responsible drinking habits and the use of personal breathalyzers by first-time DUI offenders. 

In the six weeks prior to receiving smartphone breathalyzers, 28 percent of first time DUI offenders in the program said they may have driven impaired, according to CDOT. Since receiving the breathalyzers, CDOT says only nine percent of offenders think they drove impaired. 

That is just one result of the program.

A few more include, 94 percent of participants in the program agreed that everyone who regularly drinks should own a personal breathalyzer. When participants were asked, CDOT says 91 percent of drivers either "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that owning a smartphone breathalyzer has helped avoid impaired driving. 

There were a total of 475 participants in the program and 75 percent reported using the breathalyzers to determine if they were safe to drive after consuming alcohol.

"The breathalyzer is a great resource," said Mike Hoffman, a program participant in Colorado Springs. "I knew the general rule for drinking and impairment, but there is a big difference between how you feel and how impaired you actually are." 

Participants shared a few testimonials about their experience with the program, “Great tool! Gives me a sense of security knowing where my blood alcohol level is, and if I'm impaired. Otherwise, I’m just making an educated guess, which is dumb when you drink!”

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