Locals react to repeat DUI offender crash into bridge in Pueblo

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PUEBLO, Colo. — A DUI crash in Pueblo over the weekend shedding light on the number of DUI crashes in town.

An alleged drunk driver plowed through the railing and nearly went off the bridge.

Court records show the driver has already been convicted of three DUIs.

This would be his fourth if convicted.

“People need to act appropriately and act like an adult if this individual isn’t. If they can’t act like an adult he needs to be removed from the sandbox,” said Marcus Eldred, a Pueblo West resident. “He’s not learning, so he needs to be taught a lesson.”

Bridges can be repaired, but the damage reminds Ramon Arriaga of 2006 when his sister was driving impaired.

“We lost my younger sister to a DUI accident. She was the driver and unfortunately was the one under the influence, so it has affected our family in a negative way,” said Arriaga. “It’s something we will never get over and we’ll never forget.”

The passenger in the car survived but Arriega’s sister didn’t.

“When I hear people taking the chance of driving under the influence, they think they are invincible or it won’t happen to them. We were that family, thought nothing would happen to us and unfortunately, that shook our world, changed our lives,” said Arriaga.

Arriega said we are all impacted by the choices of others.

“I think about my parents and what they have to go through: turning my sister’s bedroom into a guest room. A lot of times, we are so selfish, we don’t think of the effects it has on our family members and people who care about you,” Arriaga said. “If we can save one person and they can hear our story of it’s not worth it. Call a cab, call a friend, stay the night, to be there for your family, and your kids it’s worth it.”

Records show the man who is accused of driving drunk in this crash has also been caught driving without a license as well.

So when laws don’t deter people from driving drunk, Arriaga hopes that people who are addicted can get the help they need.

In 2019, there was a seven percent increase in DUI arrests from the year before. However, the number of DUI accidents has decreased by seven percent.

In Pueblo PD’s annual report they’re breaking down DUI enforcement numbers.

There were 342 DUI arrests in Pueblo in 2019. In 157 of those ended in accidents and people were hurt in about 60 of them and two people were killed, according to PPD’s annual report.

The number of fatalities in 2019 was down from six fatalities in 2018.

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