Colorado troopers warn drivers to stay off Santa’s naughty list

Sara B. Hansen

By Sara B. Hansen / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Colorado State Troopers want you to stay focused on driving every time you get behind the wheel during this holiday season.

Colorado is on track to record the highest number of fatalities in 15 years despite enforcement efforts.

“By the end of November, troopers had made close to 13,000 stops for lane violations alone this year, Yet, the number of serious injury and fatal crashes continue to grow because of poor driving behaviors or driving while impaired,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol.

"So, this is where you come in, Colorado drivers. You have to care enough to be responsible behind the wheel.”

Troopers and police officers watch for lane violations because they often indicate distracted driving, driving while impaired, or speeding.

Through October, crashes for all three have increased:

  • Fatal alcohol and drug-caused crashes – 10% higher than through October 2020.
  • Injury alcohol and drug-caused crashes – 36.5% higher than through October 2020.
  • Property damage alcohol and drug-caused crashes – 15.5% higher than through October 2020.

“No one wants a citation at any time of the year, but there are worse things that you could experience,” Packard said. “Causing the death of another motorist or pedestrian, it may sound farfetched, but it is happening at a devastating rate across our state.”

Deadly year on Colorado roads

As of Dec. 1, 620 people have died on Colorado roads, with 221 or 36% of them dying in crashes with impaired drivers.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, and Colorado officials ask drivers never to drive while under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or prescription drugs.

So, the Colorado State Patrol urges drivers to act like Santa’s watching. If that isn’t incentive enough, remember local law enforcement and Colorado State Troopers will be.

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Sara is the Denver news manager for NewsBreak. She's held editing roles at The Denver Post, The Des Moines Register, and The Fort Collins Coloradoan.

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