(COLORADO) — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said the statewide, multiweek holiday DUI enforcement period kicks off beginning Thursday, Dec. 8.

From Dec. 8 – Dec. 20 CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, and 65 other local law enforcement agencies are teaming up for the enforcement period, “reminding Coloradans to hand over the keys if they have been drinking or consuming cannabis.”

So far in 2022, there have been 247 fatal crashes that have involved an impaired driver, CDOT said. The counties with the highest fatalities include; Adams (31), El Paso (24), and Denver (19).

2022 impaired driving fatalities in Colorado, according to CDOT.
Colorado Department of Transportation data reported as 12/01/2022

According to CDOT, 36% of traffic deaths in Colorado have involved an impaired driver, and during the Christmas holiday between 2016 and 2021, 31 people were killed on Colorado roads.

“It takes years to remove a DUI off your record and a lifetime to carry the guilt of taking an innocent life from choosing to drive intoxicated. Be intentional with your holiday plans and determine your ride home before you go out,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

At the beginning of December, CDOT announced its partnership with Lyft and Responsibility.org, to provide $20,000 in ride credits. The promotion comes as part of the ‘Nothing Uglier Than a DUI’ campaign, which aims to reduce impaired driving and “save lives statewide.”

According to CDOT, the New Year’s Eve enforcement period goes from Dec. 29 – Jan. 3, 2023.

“Just one drink can impair you for up to two hours. If you drink, don’t drive. Everyone has a part in making sure we all get home safely,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director.

In 2022, there have been 3,902 DUI arrests during increased DUI enforcement periods in the state. According to CDOT, during the recent Thanksgiving Week enforcement, there were 268 arrests.

CDOT said DUIs include cannabis and law enforcement is trained to detect drivers impaired by marijuana. During the DUI enforcement period(s), “drivers may see sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement.”