While the 49ers and Chiefs compete for the Super Bowl, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and statewide law enforcement agencies will find victory in keeping all motorists safe from impaired drivers this Super Bowl weekend. Today, CDOT, CSP and participating agencies kickoff The Heat Is On Super Bowl Weekend DUI enforcement. Ninety-one law enforcement agencies are participating in the campaign, which ends February 3.
The Super Bowl Weekend enforcement period is the second of 16 The Heat Is On enforcement periods in Colorado this year. Officers arrested 315 impaired drivers during the same enforcement last year.
Consequences for a DUI can include up to one year in jail, license suspension and more than $13,500 after considering fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs.
"In Colorado, getting pulled over with a BAC (blood-alcohol content) of 0.05 will result in a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), and at a BAC of 0.08, you'll be charged with a DUI," said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of CSP. "The bottom line is that if you've had a drink, don't drive. No level of impairment is acceptable. We want to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel impaired, which in turn saves lives on Colorado roads."
CDOT and 96 law enforcement agencies across the state recently completed the 10-day Winter Blitz DUI enforcement period, arresting 522 impaired drivers. The 522 arrests were a decrease from the 612 arrests during the same enforcement last year. The Colorado Springs Police Department (58 arrests), Denver Police Department (57 arrests), and Larimer County Sheriff's Office (31 arrests) recorded the most arrests. CSP made 69 arrests.
If you are joining the festivities this weekend, remember these tips to keep yourself and loved ones safe:
Plan to Drink?
- Plan a sober ride home before heading out to watch the big game. Consider getting a sober ride to your destination so you won't be tempted to later drive impaired. Options available include taxis, Uber, Lyft and public transit.
- If you have a designated driver, ensure they are truly sober, not simply more sober than you are. Buzzed driving is still drunk driving.
- If you're ever unsure if you are safe to drive, always err on the side of caution and find a sober ride home.
Hosting a Party?
- Encourage your guests to designate a sober driver or plan for a safe ride home.
- Create an Uber or Lyft group ride code for your party and share with your guests.
- Provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks to keep everyone fed and hydrated throughout the game.
- Don't forget that, as a host, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a crash, you could be held liable.
- Offer guests a night on your couch if a sober ride home is unavailable.
Are You the Designated Driver?
- If you're driving, do not drink. Your responsible choice can save lives.
- Offer rides to those who may not have planned a sober ride home.
- Buckle up and require all your passengers to do the same when it's time to head home.