Today marks the start of Memorial Day weekend, when thousands of Coloradans traditionally hit the roads to experience and enjoy the state they're in — sometimes while intoxicated.
Also getting under way: the latest Colorado Department of Transportation DUI enforcement period, known as "The Heat Is On."
The operation, which runs from today through May 31, involves extra patrols, as well as numerous DUI checkpoints across Colorado.
Below, we've got details from CDOT about plans in every jurisdiction in the state, plus more about checkpoints in two metro-area communities.
Most communities don't offer specifics about where checkpoints will be staged.
For example, the Denver Police Department, which busted 48 people for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol last Memorial Day, has announced that officers "will operate DUI checkpoints and impaired driving saturation patrols at various locations throughout the city. Although the locations, dates, and times are undisclosed, drivers should be aware of the extra patrols and plan ahead for safe travels this weekend and always."
An exception to such secrecy is Lakewood, whose police department is confirming that a checkpoint will be in place tonight near the intersection of South Wadsworth Boulevard and West Mansfield Avenue.
Meanwhile, dozens upon dozens of counties are also planning "The Heat Is On" actions, for a very simple reason: Memorial Day annually produces plenty of additional reasons for memorials.
In a statement, Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT's Office of Transportation Safety, notes: “Between 2007 and 2015, there were 67 traffic fatalities on Colorado roads during Memorial Day weekends. Of those 67 fatalities, an alarming 41 (61 percent) were alcohol-related."
CDOT adds that 301 arrests were made during the 2015 Memorial Day enforcement period.
In addition, seven law enforcement agencies took part in a spring DUI enforcement period that ran from April 9 to May 15. Over that span, 1,451 people were arrested for driving under the influence, with 239 busted in Aurora, 216 in Denver and 135 in Colorado Springs.
Have fun this Memorial Day weekend — and don't give the officers at the checkpoints any reason to turn you into a statistic.
Here are the statewide enforcement plans, courtesy of CDOT.
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