92 agencies participating
In Colorado, motorcyclists make up just three percent of vehicles on the road but account for 18 percent of overall fatalities. To ensure safe travel for those traveling to and from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) will conduct a joint DUI-enforcement period, Aug. 4-14.
The focus of the enforcement period is not specifically on motorcycles, but any motor vehicle operated by an impaired driver.
"Colorado recorded an all-time high for motorcycle fatalities in 2016," said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. "There were 125 motorcycle fatalities in 2016, which is a 15 percent increase from the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2015. We realize there is a need to improve motorcycle safety, and it's imperative to ensure impaired-driving and riding is not a factor in rising fatality numbers."
During the DUI-enforcement period, drivers and riders can expect additional patrols, checkpoints and/or extra officers on duty. A total of 92 agencies will participate in the crackdown.
"Motorcycle use spikes in the summer, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a popular destination for riders and other motor vehicle drivers alike," said Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of CSP. "Impaired driving is a serious hazard to everyone, and we are prepared to protect all drivers and riders on the road."
The same DUI penalties apply to motorcycle riders as other motor vehicles. In Colorado, a DUI can cost more than $13,500 after fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs. Penalties increase for repeat offenders.
The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired-driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year, with 14 specific high-visibility impaired-driving-enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired-driving enforcement.
Find more details about the campaign, including impaired driving-enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips at HeatIsOnColorado.com.