DENVER (KDVR) — Concerning new numbers show fatal DUI crashes are up this year in Colorado, despite bars being closed across the state.
As of April 30, 44 people have been killed this year in suspected DUI crashes, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. That’s up from 34 over the same time period in 2019.
“You would think that traffic fatalities would be down a lot, and that our roads would be a lot safer,” says MADD Executive Director Fran Lanzer. “When it comes to DUI-caused fatalities, they’re way up.”
According to CDOT, 14 people were killed in DUI-related crashes in March alone, the same month stay-at-home orders went into place. Nine of those occurred in the metro Denver area, also known as Region 1.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of people almost acting like the laws don’t apply right now,” says Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Blake White.
White says CSP will be increasing DUI enforcement beginning Friday, as part of the “Heat is On” campaign.
According to CSP, 323 drivers were cited during the same campaign over Memorial Day weekend in 2019.
“There’s no excuse to drink and drive, or consume cannabis and drive,” says Lanzer.
MADD provides support services to victims and survivors at no charge. You can reach them at 1-877-MADD-HELP.