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1,342 DUI busts in Labor Day enforcement period, nine alcohol-related deaths

During the Labor Day enforcement period related to the Colorado Department of Transportation's "Heat is On" campaign, law enforcers arrested a staggering 1,342 people for impaired driving.

Surprisingly, this figure represents a slight improvement over similar stretches in 2011 and 2012. But another number is even more disturbing.

At this writing, CDOT estimates that nine alcohol-related fatalities took place over the same span.

This year's Labor Day enforcement period ran from August 16 to September 3, with the 1,342 impaired-driving-arrests total compiled from data supplied by the Colorado State Patrol and other agencies across the state.

The sum is down from 2012, when 1,440 DUI arrests were made between August 17 and September 3. In 2011, the total was estimated at 1,442 DUI arrests.

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Not that anyone's celebrating the slight dip, especially in light of what a CDOT release describes as "nine alcohol-related fatalities preliminarily reported during this period." Nor will such efforts be dialed back anytime soon.

"This year's Labor Day crackdown had more than 100 law enforcement agencies protecting Coloradans from impaired drivers," said Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, in a statement. "We will once again be ramping up our efforts surrounding the upcoming holiday season as we continue to stress the importance of avoiding impaired driving of any kind -- alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs and illegal drugs."

More from our News archive circa July: "Video: 28 arrests at holiday weekend Denver police checkpoints."

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