More than 700 DUI arrests reported during 2022 enforcement periods

Heather Willard

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Graphics from CDOT.

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver

(Douglas County, Colo.) Summer months often result in more crashes on Colorado’s roadways as more drivers head out to enjoy the weather and sights. The Colorado Department of Transportation and State Patrol are widening surveillance efforts to catch impaired drivers during the Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period June 10-13 to improve safety.

According to CDOT crash data, most fatal crashes during the summer happen Friday night after 10 p.m. As summer 2022 approaches, CDOT reminds motorists that impairment by drugs or alcohol significantly increases the chances of being in a crash.

“Impaired drivers pose an extreme threat to Colorado roads and our entire transportation system,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT’s Office of Transportation safety director. “It takes both strict enforcement and outreach efforts to make our roads a safer place to drive — but the ultimate decision is in the hands of the motorist to never drive impaired.”

Preliminary 2022 crash data shows that 38% of all traffic fatalities this year have involved an impaired driver (94 out of 248) in Colorado — that’s up from last year when 31% (74 out of 234) of fatalities involved an impaired driver.

One fatal crash involving an impaired driver caused a single death in Douglas County so far this year. Pueblo (10), Adams (9), Denver (9), Arapahoe (8), and El Paso (8) counties have the highest number of fatal crashes involving impairment so far this year.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, excluding the “All Other Offenses” crime category which counts numerous miscellaneous offenses, adults were arrested most often for assault (both aggravated and simple), followed by DUI.

Last year, the Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement arrested 186 individuals. So far this year, the patrol has recorded 704 DUI arrests across the state.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office cited 355 drivers for driving under the influence in 2021, a 14% decrease from 412 such citations in 2020, according to the office’s 2021 statistical summary. According to Sgt. Cocha Heyden, public information officer for the DougCo Sheriff’s Office, said so far in 2022, the agency has issued 100 DUIs. In the same time period in 2021, the agency had 123, a 19% decrease.

“Planning a safe and sober ride seems like an obvious step before a night out. Yet, it’s an action that too many people fail to make," said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

“Year after year, the top causal factor our troops see when investigating fatal crashes is impaired driving. Make it your goal to never drive drunk or high before your irresponsibility catches up with you.”

During the blitz period (June 10-13), drivers may encounter saturation patrols, sobriety checkpoints, and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. Local law enforcement agency plans can be found at codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

Broomfield, CO
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