Crime

Lakewood PD: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Busts at DUI Checkpoints Inching Up

In May, the Lakewood Police Department shared data showing that at least 75 percent of DUI arrests in the city between 2009 and 2013 involved alcohol, not drugs -- and in many years, the disparity was even greater.

In the months since then, however, LPD spokesman Steve Davis tells us the number of DUIDs have been inching upward, with alcohol and drug busts running neck and neck.

See also: Marijuana: At least 75 Percent of DUIs in One Colorado City Involve Alcohol, Not Pot

This past weekend, the Lakewood Police Department joined the Colorado State Patrol and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in conducting a DUI checkpoint. The location, Wadsworth south of Bowles, was chosen "due to the high number of DUI arrests made in the general vicinity in recent months," the post reveals.

In the first four hours of the checkpoint's operation, eight DUI arrests were made, and Davis says that number is fairly typical.

"When we do a DUI checkpoint, a good average is contacting 2,500 to 3,000 cars," he notes. "And I don't think I've seen the number of arrests in double digits. Usually it's four, six, eight: somewhere in that neighborhood. So overall, the percentage is very, very low."

However, he goes on, "we're seeing what I think I can safely say is a little increase in driving under the influence of drugs -- specifically marijuana."

Davis uses the data from a July 26 checkpoint as an example. By his count, "we contacted 2,996 cars and arrested six people. Three of them were for DUI and three were for DUID."

At this point, Davis doesn't have the breakdown for the most recent checkpoint; when he passes along that information, we'll update this post. Until then, there's no telling if the latest tally supports this trend or not. But lately, he says, "the arrests have been more fifty-fifty than they used to be."

Here's a document laying out the Lakewood DUI statistics for 2009 through 2013.

Lakewood DUI and DUID Statistics 2009 2013

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts