DENVER (KDVR) — While kids are roaming the streets in search of candy, good-natured frights and fun, adults may be seeking less innocent pastimes during Halloween.
The Colorado State Patrol is warning anyone consuming alcohol or other substances during the holiday weekend to plan ahead for a sober ride home.
So far in the month of October, the Colorado Department of Transportation has distributed more than $23,000 in Uber discounts throughout its partnership with Uber and the Governors Highway Safety Association. This has resulted in over 6,900 sober rides.
In 2022, CDOT reported 278 deaths from impaired driving, out of the total 754 lives lost on Colorado roadways throughout the year. Colorado’s impaired fatalities rose almost 6% from 2021, and officials are hoping to curb this year’s deaths.
Last year, CSP investigated 2,079 injury, property and deadly crashes due to impaired driving, including 115 of the 278 statewide deaths.
“Drunk drivers come in all shapes and sizes,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of CSP. “October was a busy month for our Troopers last year for some very depressing reasons. No one needs to live a nightmare; every driver can make a responsible choice.”
CDOT reported that the recent fall festivals enforcement period concluded with more than 320 DUI arrests across 78 participating law enforcement agencies. The agencies with the highest number of arrests were the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (48), Fort Collins Police Services (47) and Colorado Springs Police Department (43).
Driving under the influence could cost drivers over $13,500 in fines and could lead to jail time.
Parents should also warn their teen drivers to stay sober as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens are more likely to be killed in an alcohol-related crash than anyone else. Even though the minimum legal drinking age in every state is 21, data shows 19% of 15 to 18-year-old passenger vehicle drivers involved in deadly crashes in 2021 had been drinking.
“Teen drivers face unique challenges, including inexperience, distractions and peer pressure,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “We urge parents and guardians to play an active role in guiding their teens to become responsible drivers. By setting clear ground rules, modeling good driving behavior, and having ongoing conversations about the dangers of distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding, we can help our young drivers make smart decisions and protect themselves and others on the road.”
In 2022 there were a record number of young drivers involved in fatal crashes resulting in 103 deaths.