Increased Fourth of July DUI enforcement across Colorado

Posted at 2:06 PM, Jun 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-30 16:06:50-04

Increased DUI enforcement is now in place across Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up to keep impaired drivers off the road for the week of Independence Day.

CDOT said that law enforcement from 88 agencies across the state will be out with increased patrols, saturation patrols, or checkpoints for the Fourth of July DUI enforcement period, which runs from Friday, June 29th through Thursday, July 5th.

According to CDOT, from 2013 to 2017, there were 34 traffic fatalities in Colorado during the July Fourth holiday period. Of those fatalities, 19 involved impaired drivers.

“Fourth of July is a dangerous time to drive, with more than half of the fatalities over the past five years involving impaired drivers,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “In 2017, 394 impaired drivers were arrested over the holiday enforcement period. Make the right decision and choose a sober ride to your destination, even if you’ve only had one or two drinks.”

In 2017, July was the deadliest month on Colorado roads, with 73 fatalities, according to CDOT. Of those 73, 30 involved impaired drivers.

If you are planning on drinking, hosting a party or being a designated driver during the Fourth of July, take note of these tips to keep yourself, friends and fellow motorists safe:

Planning to Drink?

  • Make sure you find a sober ride to and from the party before you go out. Some great options include taxis, Lyft, Uber and public transit. 
  • If a friend or family member is your designated driver, make sure he or she is absolutely sober before they drive you home, not just                   more sober than you are.
  • Drink water between alcoholic beverages and eat plenty of food.
  • If you are ever uncertain if you are safe to drive home, find a sober ride instead. Any amount of alcohol can result in impairment and the           consequences aren’t worth the risk.
  • Use a breathalyzer to drink responsibly and stay in control. The only time it is acceptable to drive is with a BAC of 0 percent.

Hosting a Party?

  • Encourage guests to find a sober ride home before the party or set up an Uber or Lyft group ride code to get everyone home safely.
  • Provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages for your guests.
  • Only serve alcohol to guests who are over 21 years old.
  •  Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends.
  •  Plan activities and games that do not involve alcohol.
  •  Make arrangements for guests to spend the night if they do not have a sober ride home.
  • Don’t be afraid to take car keys away from guests who have had too much to drink. Remember, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a crash, you could be held liable.
  • Keep your guests safe with a smartphone breathalyzer to monitor their BAC and level of impairment.

Designated Driver?

  •  If you are driving, do not drink. Remember, it is only safe to drive if your BAC level is at 0.00 percent.
  • Stay sober at the party and enjoy food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Offer a ride home to anyone who does not have a designated driver.
  • Buckle up and require your passengers to do the same.