Each year in Colorado, more than 20,000 people are arrested for DUI — that’s an average of 55 DUIs every day. In 2019, 171 people died in impairment-related crashes on Colorado roads, accounting for nearly one-third of Colorado’s traffic deaths.  To curb impaired driving during the holiday season, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies will combine efforts to conduct The Heat Is On Holiday DUI enforcement this month.  Eighty-one law enforcement agencies will increase DUI patrols to support the enforcement period.

During The Heat Is On holiday DUI enforcement period last year, 100 participating law enforcement agencies arrested 572 impaired drivers.

Enforcement can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. Local law enforcement agency plans can be found at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to grow dramatically, the state is urging people to cancel gatherings with people who don’t live together. People are also reminded to always wear a mask if they must go out and stay six feet apart from others.

“The holidays should be a memorable time for our community, but not because it marks the loss of a loved one due to an impaired driving crash,” said Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “We will be actively looking for people who fail to plan for a sober ride after using drugs or alcohol.”

As of November 1 there have been 168 traffic fatalities involving an impaired driver, up 14% from last year despite lower traffic volumes. Alcohol use, including excessive drinking, has increased nationally during COVID-19. For example, the average drinks per day has increased 27% and binge drinking has increased by 26%. The largest increases in excessive drinking has been observed in western states, including Colorado.

Learn more about CDOT’s dedication to keeping Colorado roads safe, including impaired driving enforcement objectives, arrest data and safety information at codot.gov/safety.