Beginning Wednesday and running through Monday, January 4, "The heat is on," as the Colorado Department of Transportation steps up its DUI enforcement program that bears that name. As the twelfth and final DUI enforcement period of 2015, CDOT is teaming up with 74 Colorado State Patrolmen and local law enforcement officers to provide extra patrols and sobriety checkpoints.
“You can rest assured that all Colorado law enforcement agencies will be highly visible on New Year's with increased DUI patrols. We will be arresting and citing those who make the poor choice to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.
A county-by-county list of the number of increased officers for the extra DUI enforcement can be found here. Denver is reporting that 7 additional officers will provide patrols through Monday, and additionally notes:
Enforcement efforts will target the lower downtown area in anticipation for an increase in impaired drivers for the annual New Year's Eve celebration on the 16th Street mall.
According to CDOT, last year there were 329 drivers arrested statewide for DUIs during New Year's, including 49 arrests made by the Aurora Police Department and 47 by the Denver Police Department.
This year, a number of resources are being made available through CDOT and others so that partiers can avoid getting behind the wheel. Starting at 7p.m. on Thursday, all regularly-scheduled RTD bus, mall, and rail routes will be free through 11:59 p.m. on January 1. For specific route and schedule information, visit CoorsLightFreeRides.com
The Denver law firm, Sawaya Law, is also offering to reimburse all cab rides up to $35 in Metro Denver through January 3. More details can be found at their website.
For those of you hosting parties of your own, CDOT offers the following tips to reduce the likelihood of drunk driving:
- Have plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages available
- Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the end of the party
- Use smaller serving cups to keep alcoholic beverages to the appropriate size
- Plan activities and games that do not involve alcohol to reduce consumption
- Don’t be afraid to take someone’s keys if they’ve had to much to drink
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.