DENVER (KDVR) — Once a year the best of the best in law enforcement are celebrated for the role they play in keeping Colorado roadways safe.

On Wednesday, FOX31’s Nicole Fierro emceed the Colorado Department of Transportation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Law Enforcement Champion Awards.  

Groups like CDOT and MADD support efforts to reverse the deadly impaired driving trend in the state. Approximately one-third of traffic fatalities involve an impaired driver according to CDOT.

During Wednesday’s award ceremony, several law enforcement agents were recognized. Among them was Corporal Aaron Botts with the Denver Police Department. He received the Col. Mark V. Trostel Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.  

Trostel, the former Colorado State Patrol officer for whom the award is named, was at the event. He said Botts was incredibly deserving of the award.  

“It’s almost 900 that he was involved in taking off the streets in Denver,” said Trostel.  

He emphasized the significance of that effort since DUI-related fatalities are preventable. 

Botts, who has been in law enforcement for 14 years and the last five with Denver, said it’s personal for him. His grandfather was hit by a drunk driver.  

When Botts is not educating fellow officers on how to conduct an impaired driving stop he’s doing them himself from 8 p.m. till 6 a.m. in Denver. Bott said he is committed to helping prevent tragedies while also making a positive impression on those he encounters.  

“Some people, it’s the most devasting thing that’s happened in their lives, and I take pride in the fact that most people when I put them in jail, shake my hand and say ‘thank you,’” said Botts.  

Botts reminded everyone to have a sober ride home, even for those who only have a beer or two. It is not worth risking lives on the road.  

Agencies across Colorado have DUI enforcement zones running through June 5 as part of the Memorial Day weekend enforcement period.