There's No Excuse for Drunk Driving Tonight. Really.

There's No Excuse for Drunk Driving Tonight. Really.
Creative Commons / Flickr user NewYork Lawyers
On what's shaping up to be a frigid New Year's Eve in Colorado, we wouldn't blame you for wanting to justify all those celebratory drinks as keeping on your “beer jacket.” But no matter how much you have to drink tonight — even if it's to stay warm — there's still no excuse to get behind a wheel when you truly don't have to.

For one, law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in extra force tonight, ready to identify and pull over your drunk ass at the slightest swerve. As part of the ongoing “The Heat Is On" campaign, the Colorado Department of Transportation has teamed up with local police departments and the Colorado State Patrol to deploy “saturation patrols” across Colorado this evening. Over 100 law enforcement agencies are participating (the enforcement period officially ends on January 2), and CDOT's enforcement database has reports that detail the extra officers assigned for patrols by police department. In Denver, six extra officers with DPD have been tasked with conducting DUI tests tonight. Seven officers will be on the lookout for alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers in Lakewood, four in Arvada, twelve in Aurora, six in Westminster, seven in Colorado Springs, sixteen in Pueblo and three in Fort Collins.

According to a news release from CDOT, 357 impaired drivers were arrested during last year's increased enforcement period around New Year's Eve. Also included in that release is this observation from Colonel Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol: “With all the alternative transportation options available, there is no need to drive impaired.”

Packard makes a point. In addition to the usual taxi and ride-share options, there are actually free ways to get around this evening. The Regional Transportation District is teaming up with Coors Light to offer complimentary bus and rail service from 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve until 2:59 a.m. January 2. (For detailed route and schedule information, call 1-800-FREE-RIDES or visit the RTD website.)

And as has been offered in years past, the Sawaya Law Firm has its “Free Cab Ride Program,” which includes reimbursement for a taxi cab ride from one location to the passenger’s home in the Denver metro area. (For more information, visit

All that is to say: There really are no excuses, folks. Have fun out there, be safe, and see you in 2019.
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Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker