DUI arrests rise over Independence Day weekend

Holiday celebrations got out of hand for 381 impaired drivers over the Independence Day weekend.

Red, white and blue took on a whole new meaning as law enforcement officers flashed their lights and nabbed hundreds of people behind the wheel and under the influence.

The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies teamed up to conduct a Fourth of July heightened DUI enforcement from June 30 to July 5.

The 381 citations is an increase from the 318 during last year’s enforcement.

“It’s unfortunate that so many people made the decision to drive impaired and put everyone on the road in danger,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “It can only take a couple drinks to put you over the limit, so we encourage everyone who plans to drink to make concrete plans for a sober ride to and from their destination.”

A total of 109 agencies participated in the DUI enforcement. Locally, Denver officers got 24 impaired drivers off the road, Colorado Springs officers arrested 32 drunk drivers and Greeley police cuffed 28 dangerous drivers.

Across the state, Colorado State Patrol troopers cited 86 drivers.

“It doesn’t matter if you are driving a short distance or if you only had a few drinks,  it’s never a good idea to drive after consuming alcohol,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

“A DUI or even worse, injuring or killing other drivers and passengers on the road, is never worth the risk of driving impaired.”

The Heat Is On returns for the Labor Day Crackdown from Aug. 18 to Sept. 5.

Last year, 964 impaired drivers were arrested during the same enforcement period.