DENVER (KDVR) – One person was killed by an alleged drunk driver Saturday night in downtown Denver. The driver involved in that deadly incident now faces charges of vehicular homicide

The Colorado State Patrol has been increasing DUI enforcement on our highways all week.

Independence Day weekend is typically one of the busiest when it comes to crashes caused by impaired driving, which is why law enforcement has stepped up DUI patrols through July 5.

“I don’t have the specific numbers but I can tell you Fourth of July weekends typically tends to be one of our busier weekends for no other reason than there are more people out on the roadway,” Colorado State Trooper Josh Lewis explained. “You’re gonna see extra troopers and other officers out and we are looking for those impaired and dangerous drivers.” 

Officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation estimate that more than 220,000 drivers will pass through Eisenhower Tunnels this weekend and with more people driving, state patrol has increased their presence too.

The Colorado Crash Data Dashboard revealed that since the beginning of 2022, 1,357 people have been arrested for a DUI and hundreds more with suspected intoxication. During last year’s Independence Day weekend alone, 50 people were arrested or cited for driving impaired.

“If you know you’re going to be partying celebrating, drinking, doing whatever, have a plan in place before you go out. Know what your options are, whether it’s rideshare, a friend spending the night, whatever the case may be, any option is better than getting behind the wheel,” Lewis said.

Lewis said they are not oversaturating any one area but rather are ensuring the safety of both drivers and pedestrians. 

“You’re gonna see a lot of celebrations, you’re gonna see a lot of community gatherings, and so there’s also a lot of pedestrian foot traffic. If you’re driving under the influence, It can be very easy to get into one of those disasters,” Lewis said.   

Again, one person was hit and killed on South Broadway by a drunk driver over the weekend, which is exactly what state troopers are trying to prevent. 

“We tell people if the worst thing that happens is you get arrested for DUI without hurting anybody, [then] that’s a best case scenario and that’s still a very hard lesson to learn,” Lewis said.