Labor Day DUI Enforcement Period, part of CDOT’s The Heat Is On campaign, runs through Tuesday, September 8.
While most people are familiar with the 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, Colorado also has a 0.05 BAC level that triggers a Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) offense.
“Our goal is to keep the roads safe, no matter the time of year,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Even though the summer-long Checkpoint Colorado DUI patrols are winding down, the Labor Day enforcement is a reminder to motorists statewide that we will remain vigilant in our efforts to arrest impaired drivers.”
A Look at 2014 Labor Day DUI Arrest Statistics for Colorado
According to CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol (CSP):
- In 2014, more than 1,100 DUI arrests were made by 95 law enforcement agencies in the state over Labor Day weekend.
- Over Labor Day weekend in 2014, there were just over 160 DUI-related fatalities in Colorado.
- About 1 in every 3 DUI-related deaths that occurred in Colorado in 2014 took place over Memorial Day or Labor Day weekend.
- According to officials, the 2015 Labor Day DUI crackdown will include more patrols on the roads (particularly over weekends and evenings), public service announcements (to try to deter drunk driving) and DUI checkpoints (among other things).
“With the availability of cabs and ride-hailing apps like Lyft and Uber, most people know how to get home safely after drinking,” said Sam Cole, Safety Communications Manager at CDOT. “Unfortunately some people will go out for a few drinks and not recognize they are above the legal limit to drive; so this campaign targets those that think they’re ok after only a few.”
Labor Day Weekend DUI Enforcement
This Labor Day Weekend at the LoDo parking lot at 20th and Market, CDOT will be handing out portable breathalyzers for drivers to use after having a couple of drinks. “The breathalyzer should not be seen as the actual limit, but it provides a good estimate of what your level is,” said Cole.An iPhone and the Alcohoot app is all one needs to police themselves. All you have to do is plug the breathalyzer into your phone.
This is the first time CDOT has placed its prevention message in the hands of drivers. The hope is to drop last year’s Labor Day numbers of over 1,000 arrests, 114 alcohol-related crashes and three fatalities.
“A DUI in Colorado is over $10,000 and this seems like a small price to pay to actually stay safe,” said Cole.
CDOT will be at the Lower Downtown parking lot handing out breathalyzers Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, they will be handing them inside Coors Field.
Driving under the Influence or Driving Impaired — CDOT will Monitor For Both Offenses
The potential penalties for a first DUI include up to one year in jail, a fine, license suspension, and mandatory alcohol and community service. There are greater penalties for subsequent offenses. Most severely, a recent Colorado law makes it a felony to receive four or more DUIs. A felony DUI carries the potential for up to a $500,000 fine and up to six years in jail. A DWAI conviction also carries serious consequences, including up to six months of jail time and fines, as well as mandatory community service. Drivers accused of DWAI may also gain up to eight points on their license.
If You’ve Been Accused of Impaired Driving, Contact An Experienced Drunk Driving Attorney Today for Help.
DUI and DWAI charges are serious charges and the accused drivers need assistance as soon as possible after arrest. Our experienced and skilled drunk driving attorneys at Marinoff and Associates, P.C., Attorneys at Law can help you understand the procedures and defend yourself against drunk driving accusations.
To set up your free case consultation with one of our knowledgeable DUI attorneys, call today at 720-621-7635.