DENVER (KDVR) — Thousands will travel to visit family and friends or enjoy restaurants and bars to celebrate the Labor Day weekend.
Colorado State Patrol released numbers that show impaired driving was the biggest cause of deadly crashes last year.
Cases related to driving while drunk increased by 6% since 2021. Three holidays tied for first place in 2022 as the deadliest: St. Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day each saw 23 crashes.
CSP spokesperson Gary Cutler told FOX31 that while most arrests involved drunk driving, the number of cases of driving while high on marijuana and drugs is rising.
“This is not acceptable. People are dying and getting injured on our roadways,” Cutler said.
While downtown areas will be packed with partiers, law enforcement will cast a wide net, also monitoring unincorporated areas closely.
“Jefferson County, for instance. We have a good portion of Littleton that is unincorporated, so we patrol that,” Cutler said.
Drunk driving penalties ‘expensive’ — and life-changing
Hurting yourself or someone else as a result of impaired driving means paying the ultimate price. Cutler emphasized that in any situation, penalties are severe and never worth taking a chance on the road by driving drunk or high.
“You’re going to lose your license. You’re going to lose your ability to drive — you have to get to work somehow. It’s going to be expensive. Your life is going to change immensely because you were drinking and driving,” Cutler said.
Police advise planning your celebration ahead of time by appointing a designated driver who will not be using alcohol, marijuana or any other substance or arranging to use a rideshare service.
CSP told FOX31 that anyone who notices a drunk or high driver should notify law enforcement by calling *277 with the location and direction the car is traveling and the make and model.