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10-day winter DUI enforcement begins Friday

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Chris Sorensen

The Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Department of Transportation and law enforcement agencies across the state will begin a 10-day enhanced DUI enforcement period Friday which will run through January 28. 

Known as The Heat is On, extra attention in focused on drunk and drugged driving during the campaigns, which are conducted throughout the year. For 2019, 15 special enforcement periods are scheduled, up from 14 in 2018.

During a similar period last year, 608 impaired drivers were arrested, with nearly 10,000 arrests made throughout 2018. More than 100 agencies participated in stepped-up enforcement at the close of the year and arrested 322 drivers for DUI. An average of 52 DUI arrests per day were made during the 185 days of increased enforcement.

Early information shows that 216 people died in crashes involving drugs or alcohol in 2018.

“We strive to keep impaired drivers off Colorado roadways throughout the year,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of CSP. “These enforcement periods are meant to deter drivers from making the poor decision to drive after consuming alcohol or drugs. Sadly, the data shows thousands of people still choose to drive impaired.”

Funding for the DUI enforcement periods, along with education and awareness campaigns, is provide by the CDOT Highway Safety Office. Most of the enhanced enforcement activity is centered around national holidays and large-scale public events.