A truck involved in a July 2017 crash on Interstate 70 near the 40 East exit that killed two people and injured six. The driver was intoxicated.
YouTube file photo

In 15 Colorado Counties, DUI Totals Are More Than 1 Percent of the Population

In fifteen counties in Colorado, the number of arrests for driving under the influence represents more than 1 percent of total population.

These are among the disturbing revelations in a recent report from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice.

The study, titled "Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol," is accessible below in its entirety, and it's filled with important statistics. Among the most telling are the ones pertaining to DUIs in counties across the state, which supplement information we shared in a November 2017 post about driving-under-the-influence filings by judicial district.

But the number of DUIs per county — the data is from 2016, the most recent available — only tells part of the story. Also important to consider is the population of each county, which provides a better sense about the Colorado places where such offenses happen more frequently per capita. So we applied the most recent census info for each of the state's 64 counties and calculated the percentage of DUIs compared to it.

The population figures serve as a reminder about just how few people live in some parts of the state. Indeed, three sizable counties have fewer than 1,000 residents: 338 square-mile San Juan (699), 878 square-mile Mineral (712) and 1,123 square-mile Hinsdale (843). Of these, one county, Hinsdale, actually recorded zero DUIs in 2016, while Mineral notched four and San Juan County eight.

Could there actually be more incidents of people driving while intoxicated in such places? Of course. The smaller the population, the fewer resources there are for local law enforcement, and the Colorado State Patrol tends to focus its troopers in areas where more drivers are on the road. As such, DUIs are likely among the most under-reported crimes in many low-population areas.

The largest number of DUIs circa 2016 took place along the urban corridor. Nine Front Range counties made more than 1,000 busts of this type, with the highest total topping 3,000. But DUIs represented less than 1 percent of the population in all nine — and under half-a-percent in several.

The fifteen counties above 1 percent represent mostly rural or mountain areas — and several of the latter (particularly Ouray, Clear Creek, Grand and Eagle) are popular tourists destinations. That's why we can't say with certainty that at least one of every 100 residents in such places were busted for a DUI in 2016. Obviously, some people were passing through when they got into trouble with the law.

The worst digits? Gilpin County registered 117 DUIs in 2016 with a population of 5,441, resulting in a percentage of 2.15. Don't expect local boosters to be touting that particular achievement.

Continue to count down statistics from every county in Colorado, ranked from the fewest to the most. We've italicized the data of the fifteen counties with percentages above 1 percent. That's followed by the link to the report.

Hinsdale County.
Hinsdale County.

Number 1: Hinsdale County
DUIs: 0
Population: 843
Percentage: 0

Number 2: Mineral County
DUIs: 4
Population: 712
Percentage: .56

Number 3: Jackson County
DUIs: 6
Population: 1,394
Percentage: .43

Number 4: San Juan County
DUIs: 8
Population: 699
Percentage: 1.14

Number 5: Kiowa County
DUIs: 9
Population: 1,398
Percentage: .64

Number 6: Dolores County
DUIs: 11
Population: 2,064
Percentage: .53

Number 7: Sedgwick County
DUIs: 11
Population: 2,379
Percentage: .46

Number 8: Crowley County
DUIs: 14
Population: 5,823
Percentage: .24

Number 9: Bent County
DUIs: 15
Population: 6,499
Percentage: .23

Number 10: Phillips County
DUIs: 15
Population: 4,442
Percentage: .33

Custer County.
Custer County.
YouTube file photo

Number 11: Custer County
DUIs: 18
Population: 4,255
Percentage: .42

Number 12: Baca County
DUIs: 19
Population: 3,788
Percentage: .50

Number 13: Cheyenne County
DUIs: 20
Population: 1,836
Percentage: 1.08

Number 14: Washington County
DUIs: 23
Population: 4,814
Percentage: .47

Number 15: Saguache County
DUIs: 24
Population: 6,108
Percentage: .39

Number 16: Costilla County
DUIs: 25
Population: 3,524
Percentage: .70

Number 17: Conejos County
DUIs: 35
Population: 8,256
Percentage: .42

Number 18: Yuma County
DUIs: 37
Population: 10,043
Percentage: .36

Number 19: Lincoln County
DUIs: 37
Population: 5,467
Percentage: .67

Number 20: Rio Blanco County
DUIs: 43
Population: 6,666
Percentage: .64

Number 21: Ouray County
DUIs: 58
Population: 4,436
Percentage: 1.30

Kit Carson County.
Kit Carson County.
YouTube file photo

Number 22: Kit Carson County
DUIs: 65
Population: 8,270
Percentage: .78

Number 23: Huerfano County
DUIs: 68
Population: 6,711
Percentage: 1.01

Number 24: Lake County
DUIs: 70
Population: 7,310
Percentage: .95

Number 25: Rio Grande County
DUIs: 72
Population: 11,982
Percentage: .60

Number 26: Park County
DUIs: 78
Population: 16,206
Percentage: .48

Number 27: Archuleta County
DUIs: 85
Population: 12,084
Percentage: .70

Number 28: Otero County
DUIs: 96
Population: 18,831
Percentage: .50

Number 29: Elbert County
DUIs: 98
Population: 23,086
Percentage: .42

Number 30: Clear Creek County
DUIs: 100
Population: 9,088
Percentage: 1.10

Number 31: Logan County
DUIs: 103
Population: 22,709
Percentage: .45

Las Animas County.EXPAND
Las Animas County.
YouTube file photo

Number 32: Las Animas County
DUIs: 111
Population: 15,507
Percentage: .71

Number 33: San Miguel County
DUIs: 114
Population: 7,359
Percentage: 1.54

Number 34: Chaffee County
DUIs: 115
Population: 17,809
Percentage: .64

Number 35: Gilpin County
DUIs: 117
Population: 5,441
Percentage: 2.15

Number 36: Prowers County
DUIs: 121
Population: 12,551
Percentage: .96

Number 37: Moffat County
DUIs: 149
Population: 13,795
Percentage: 1.08

Number 38: Pitkin County
DUIs: 150
Population: 17,148
Percentage: .87

Number 39: Morgan County
DUIs: 165
Population: 28,159
Percentage: .58

Number 40: Routt County
DUIs: 165
Population: 23,509
Percentage: .70

Number 41: Grand County
DUIs: 167
Population: 14,843
Percentage: 1.12

Number 42: Teller County
DUIs: 176
Population: 23,350
Percentage: .75

Gunnison County.
Gunnison County.
YouTube file photo

Number 43: Gunnison County
DUIs: 186
Population: 15,324
Percentage: 1.21

Number 44: Alamosa County
DUIs: 189
Population: 15,445
Percentage: 1.22

Number 45: Delta County
DUIs: 204
Population: 30,952
Percentage: .65

Number 46: Montezuma County
DUIs: 213
Population: 25,535
Percentage: .83

Number 47: Montrose County
DUIs: 224
Population: 41,276
Percentage: .54

Number 48: Broomfield County
DUIs: 235
Population: 55,889
Percentage: .42

Number 49: Fremont County
DUIs: 281
Population: 46,824
Percentage: .60

Number 50: Summit County
DUIs: 395
Population: 27,994
Percentage: 1.41

Number 51: Eagle County
DUIs: 568
Population: 52,197
Percentage: 1.08

Number 52: Garfield County
DUIs: 633
Population: 56,389
Percentage: 1.12

Pueblo County.
Pueblo County.
YouTube file photo

Number 53: Pueblo County
DUIs: 656
Population: 159,063
Percentage: .41

Number 54: La Plata County
DUIs: 671
Population: 51,334
Percentage: 1.3

Number 55: Mesa County
DUIs: 834
Population: 146,723
Percentage: .56

Number 56: Douglas County
DUIs: 1,016
Population: 285,465
Percentage: .35

Number 57: Weld County
DUIs: 1,378
Population: 252,825
Percentage: .54

Number 58: Boulder County
DUIs: 1,426
Population: 294,567
Percentage: .48

Number 59: Larimer County
DUIs: 1,789
Population: 299,630
Percentage: .59

Number 60: Denver County
DUIs: 2,269
Population: 600,158
Percentage: .37

Number 61: Jefferson County
DUIs: 2,489
Population: 534,543
Percentage: .46

Number 62: El Paso County
DUIs: 2,750
Population: 622,263
Percentage: .44

Number 63: Adams County
DUIs: 2,853
Population: 441,603
Percentage: .65

Number 64: Arapahoe County
DUIs: 3,157
Population: 572,003
Percentage: .55

Click to read the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice's "Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol" report.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: