DougCo’s neighbors lead Colorado’s DUI arrest rates

Heather Willard

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Sept. 14, 2022

(Douglas County, Colo.) The Colorado State Patrol’s 2022 crash data shows two crash factors outpace other possible reasons for the rise of fatal crashes across the state.

During the first six months of 2022, Colorado Patrol data shows that 21.6% of fatal crashes were caused by drivers traveling outside their designated lane. The data shows an additional 18% were caused by drivers impaired by alcohol, marijuana, other controlled substances or a combination thereof.

Three of the most common behaviors that lead to lane violations are driving aggressively, driving distracted and driving while impaired.

“When you act rashly and irresponsibly behind the wheel, you are demonstrating your lack of concern for every grandparent, child, uncle and mother on the road with you,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol chief. “There is a reason we all went through hours of instruction and had to take a test to earn a license. It is a privilege and with it comes responsibility.”

El Paso County is leading the state’s impaired driving arrest citations, as well as accounting for approximately 12% (421) alcohol-suspected crashes from Jan. 1 through Sept. 2, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Adams County accounted for approximately 12% (421) of the crashes, and Denver County drivers made up 11% (401).

The Colorado State Patrol reported it arrested the most drivers for DUI during the first six months of 2022 in:

  • El Paso – 342
  • Adams - 252
  • Jefferson – 218
  • Weld – 211
  • Mesa – 177

According to Colorado Crime Statistics, 154 DUI cases have been reported in Douglas County from January through July.

The Colorado State Patrol reported it has responded to over 375 injury and fatal crashes in the first six months of 2022 due to lane violations. In addition, troopers issued 2,936 citations for impaired driving from January through July.

According to the transportation department, 190 traffic fatalities were reported in June, July and August in Colorado. Of those, 33% (63) involved an impaired driver. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there were 1,577 DUI arrests during heightened DUI enforcement periods.

“Law enforcement knows the telltale signs of impaired driving, like lane violations, and go out of their way to stop it because of the deadly consequences of this inexcusable choice to drive intoxicated,” said Packard. “As a result, being arrested for impaired driving imposes some of the harshest penalties and will have a significant impact on a person’s life.”

Colorado State troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to lane violations, directed through a yearlong campaign called “Stay in Your Lane,” designed to remind people to control their lane position based on their current driving environment.

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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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