COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced that Halloween Weekend Enforcement begins Thursday.
According to CDOT, a total of 77 agencies statewide including the Colorado State Patrol will have increased patrols to cut down on impaired driving statewide. CDOT says during last year's Halloween enforcement period there were a total of 134 impaired driving arrests.
So far this year, CDOT says there have already been 4,258 DUI arrests. This year's Halloween enforcement period will run from today, October 26 to Wednesday, November 1.
“Don't ruin your holiday or all the ones coming soon by changing the direction of your life with a DUI. If the thought of risking the lives of others isn't a motivator to stop driving intoxicated, the cost and inconvenience of a DUI could be, stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "Plan a safe ride before you start, it's poor choices, like driving impaired, that can haunt you. Take responsibility.”
According to CDOT, the law enforcement agencies that have had the most arrests this fall during heightened enforcement were the Larimer County Sheriff's Office (48), Fort Collins Police Department (47), and the Colorado Springs Police Department (43).
CDOT also says that as of October 4, El Paso County has the fourth-highest driving-impaired deaths this year with 16.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?
The consequences of a DUI can not only be fatal, but costly as well. It is estimated that first-time DUI offenders average a total of $13,530 in fees associated with the DUI and a person can spend a minimum of 170 hours dealing with the consequences of their actions.
DRIVING FATALITIES BY THE NUMBERS
Last year marked the deadliest year on Colorado roads in twenty years. The last time more than 700 Coloradans died on roadways was 2002, according to data from CDOT. In 2021, nearly one in three of the 691 traffic fatalities could be attributed to impaired drivers.
According to a 2023 report, from the Colorado Divison of Criminal Justice, in 2020, the highest number of DUI case filings by county were El Paso (3,262), Adams (2,053), Jefferson (1,846), Larimer (1,787), and Arapahoe counties (1,382), while urban counties did show the most numbers of DUIs in 2020 case filing rates were higher in rural counties.
Looking at the same report, the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice found that the rate of DUI case filings per 100,000 residents was highest in Kiowa County, with a rate of 3,632 case filings per 100,000 residents. When looking at this figure, El Paso County has a case filing rate of 564 per 100,000 residents.
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