We've been reporting about the fatal crash following a July 4 Grand Lake fireworks show, as well as charges against DUI veteran Lucas Ackerman. But thanks to this year's calendar, the Fourth was only the start of a four-day weekend that set up perfectly for long-haul partying.
That explains why the Denver Police Department set up a checkpoint on July 5, with the hopes of nabbing drunk drivers before they could take lives. And they found more than two dozen of them.
On Friday night, the Denver Police Department Facebook page reveals that the city's DUI unit participated in a Colorado Department of Transportation-sponsored campaign called Checkpoint Colorado by setting up two traffic stops on North Speer Boulevard -- one in the 500 block, the other on the 2000 block.
The results? The DPD arrested 26 people for driving under the influence of alcohol -- and two individuals for driving under the influence of drugs.
The campaign isn't over yet. The CDOT Facebook page points out that increased DUI enforcement runs through today, July 8.
Last year, CDOT cataloged seven alcohol-related fatalities on Colorado roadways. "Our goal this year is none," a July 3 "Heat Is On" post stressed.
Did law enforcers succeed? Final numbers aren't in yet, and they may not arrive for a while owing to a weekend crash on Interstate 70 near Limon that took four lives. At this point, there's been no determination about whether alcohol or drugs were involved. But one thing's certain: None of the eight passengers riding in the ill-fated vehicle, an SUV, were wearing seat belts, and all of them were ejected when it flipped.
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Here's a Denver police video about Friday's DUI checkpoint.
More from our News archive: "Lucas Ackerman, driver in fatal July 4 Grand Lake crash, has past DUI bust."