The Denver i Journal reports that 490 drivers were arrested in Colorado for alcohol-related offenses over the six-day enforcement period surrounding Independence Day, as a result of saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints. The highest number of arrests were in Denver (69), Aurora (45), and Colorado Springs (32). The article quotes Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, as confirming that nearly 100 different law enforcement agencies were involved in the crackdown, and that “Coloradans can expect even tougher DUI enforcement over Labor Day weekend, with more patrols and checkpoints in place throughout the state.”
As the article notes, the “good news” is that preliminary reports indicated that only one such incident resulted in a fatality, compared to seven deaths a year ago.
News media reported earlier in the month that the Denver Police Department arrested 28 people early Friday over the holiday weekend at a pair of DUI checkpoints set up along Speer Boulevard. The checkpoints, timed to catch 4th of July revelers driving in an unsafe condition, caught 26 alleged drunk drivers and two people allegedly under the influence of drugs, according to DPD. Statewide numbers for this year have yet to be released, but look to be down from 2012. Last year, according to the Denver Post, the Colorado State Patrol and 93 law enforcement agencies across the state reported 632 DUI arrests during the five-day enforcement period that included checkpoints and stepped-up patrols.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has established “The Heat is On” program, which runs the entire year, targeting twelve specific holiday periods for increased law enforcement focus on impaired drivers.