Colorado Springs get third-highest DUI arrests during Super Bowl celebrations

February 11, 2014 Updated: February 12, 2014 at 5:50 am

Winter weather may have kept lots of Coloradans off the roads during Super Bowl weekend - and there were about 100 fewer DUI arrests statewide than in 2013, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The DUI enforcement campaign reported 315 arrests statewide from Jan. 31 through Feb. 3, with 148 of those on Super Bowl Sunday, CDOT reported.

In Colorado Springs, 21 drivers were arrested that weekend on suspicion of driving under the influence, lagging Aurora with 34 arrests and Denver with 40, transportation department records show.

According to a statement released Tuesday by the transportation department, the number of DUI arrests on Super Bowl weekend was down this year from 421 in 2013. Colorado State Patrol Capt. Charles Cargin said the weekend's arctic conditions may have contributed to keeping people off the roads.

"We knew that this Super Bowl in particular would be a cause for celebration this weekend, but no matter who's playing in the game, there's no reason to drive impaired," said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety, in the statement. "A DUI for those 315 people only made their weekend worse."

"The Heat Is On" is a year-round campaign with 12 DUI enforcement periods centered on holidays and large, public events, such as the Super Bowl, or the upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebration in March.

"Colorado Springs police, the El Paso County sheriff's office, the Colorado State Patrol and many other law enforcement agencies partner up throughout the year to pay closer attention to possible drunk driving," Cargin said.

Law enforcement agencies increase staffing during the targeted dates and officers patrol solely to find and detain impaired drivers, Cargin explained.

"Most of the time, deputies and officers on shift have to handle all types of calls, in addition to the DUI-related traffic stops," Cargin said. "On the days that they participate in the campaign, they only handle DUIs, that's their only focus."

The next round of The Heat Is On DUI enforcements will take place over St. Patrick's Day weekend from March 14 to 17.

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