Too many drivers in Colorado are getting behind the wheel when they are drunk, high, or both. The results are deadly.
The 253 traffic fatalities in 2021 that involved an impaired set a 20-year high mark. Things got worse in 2022 when there were 278 wrecks. So far in 2023, there have been 119.
Governor Polis and Colorado lawmakers have been working to try and reverse the trend. In June, Polis signed a bill into law giving $1.5 million to C-DOT to help cover the expense of a series of high-visibility enforcement periods.
More than 70 agencies statewide will participate in the three-week Labor Day Crackdown high-visibility enforcement period which begins Wednesday.
The legislation requires a minimum of 12 enforcement periods each year. C-DOT Traffic Safety Communications Manager Sam Cole said the department is funding 16 of them in 2023.
The legislation follows the passage of a 2022 bill requiring people with multiple DUI convictions for alcohol intoxication to submit to continuous alcohol monitoring.
Cole said the message to drivers is simple. If you drink or use cannabis, do not get behind the wheel.
"We're still in the throes of summer, lots of people going to barbecues on the weekends, they might be stopping at happy hour with friends after work. All great. Just don't get behind the wheel after doing that," said Cole.
The Labor Day Crackdown will last for three weeks from August 16 to September 6.
The Governors Highway Safety Association is providing free $10 credits for Uber rides between 5:00 p.m. on August 31 through 11:59 p.m. on September 9. Enter the code RIDEWISE, in the Uber app on your mobile device to redeem the credit.
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