During the one-week period leading into the new year, local law enforcement agencies and the Colorado State Patrol arrested 348 motorists for driving under the influence.
Mesa and Summit counties were the only jurisdictions outside of the Front Range to have experienced 20 or greater arrests, with the highest number of drivers arrested in El Paso County.
The crackdown capped a year of 15 separate enforcement periods under “The Heat is On” campaign. The Colorado Department of Transportation provided funding for additional personnel and enforcement, most commonly around major holidays, covering 179 days out of the year.
In total, there were 8,513 DUI arrests, a 12% decrease over the prior year. At the same time, 176 people died on Colorado roads in crashes that were impairment-related.
This year will feature 16 enforcement periods, beginning with the “Winter Blitz” on Jan. 17, which will run for 10 days.
CDOT reports 145,696 arrests during the high-visibility enforcement enforcement periods since 1990.
CSP’s strategic plan through 2021 is to reduce by 5% the number of DUI crashes that troopers investigate involving injuries or fatalities compared to 2017, which amounted to just over 500. Distracted driving and excessive speed are the most common crash causes in Colorado, followed by driving under the influence.