COLORADO SPRINGS — This Memorial Day holiday, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies are reminding all Coloradans to make the responsible decision to never drive impaired.

In an effort to help keep our roadways safe, enforcement will be stepped up for the holiday weekend. The high-visibility DUI enforcement will run from May 27 to June 5, the first of six increased enforcement efforts during the summer. 

So far this year, 72 people have been killed in impaired driving crashes in the state, according to CDOT. That’s twice as many from the 36 deaths in the same timeframe in 2019. The DUI enforcement comes as fatalities on Colorado roads are the highest they’ve been in nearly two decades. Last year, impaired drivers were suspected in 232 fatal crashes in Colorado. 

Historically, the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest on Colorado roads. Over the last decade, more than 57% of the Memorial Day weekend fatalities involved suspected impaired driving. Last year’s Memorial Day Weekend enforcement resulted in 223 DUI arrests. 

“There is no reason your summer should include a DUI,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “DUI’s are entirely preventable with so many ways to get home safe. Don’t risk your life or a DUI. Plan ahead and leave the driving to a sober individual.” 

The most recent enforcement period surrounding St. Patrick’s Day saw 172 arrests made across 81 participating agencies — bringing the year-to-date total of DUI arrests made during enforcement periods to 579, according to CDOT.

Enforcement period efforts often include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and additional law enforcement on duty specifically for impaired driving enforcement. The best way to keep yourself and other motorists safe is to designate a sober ride.

“With so many deaths and injuries on our roads, we’re grateful for the increased efforts by our law enforcement partners to ensure our roads are safe from drunk and drugged drivers,” said Fran Lanzer, Colorado Executive Director with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “As we take a moment over Memorial Day weekend to remember those who gave their lives in service to our nation, we can all do our part to keep our Colorado communities safe by making the right choice – if you drink, don’t drive.”