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Patrols added Memorial Weekend to catch drunken drivers, underage drinkers

By: Chhun Sun
May 27, 2016 Updated: May 28, 2016 at 7:06 am
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Memorial Day weekend is here.

And with this occasion comes a reminder: The weekend annually produces the most alcohol-related traffic fatalities of the year, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. 

Seventy-eight law enforcement agencies will have increased drunken driving enforcement across Colorado from Friday through Tuesday.

There were 67 traffic fatalities in Colorado during the holiday weekend between 2007 and 2015, CDOT reported. Of those, 41 - or 61 percent - were alcohol-related.

In 2015, Colorado law enforcement made 301 arrests during the five-day period, CDOT reported.

"Law enforcement understands that people will be out having fun during the holiday weekend, but there will be zero tolerance for impaired drivers," Chief of Colorado State Patrol Col. Scott Hernandez said in a statement. "We encourage drivers to consider the consequences of a DUI and the danger they present to themselves and others on the road."

During a DUI enforcement period from April 9 to May 15, Colorado Springs police made the third-most arrests in the state at 135 - behind Aurora police (239) and Denver police (216).

Also, the Colorado Department of Revenue, Liquor Enforcement Division, or LED, will increase enforcement on underage drinking by conducting checkpoints and saturation patrols in El Paso, Adams and Jefferson counties.

LED will conduct compliance checks at local bars, liquor stores and stores that sell 3.2-percent beer, search for underage patrons attempting to buy alcohol, and follow up on "point of last drink" information provided by underage drivers who are cited for drunken driving.

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