December 28, 2013 Updated: December 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm
With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, police are ramping up for a jump in drunk driving from revelers.
The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and 76 other agencies in Colorado kicked off an increase in DUI enforcement Friday that runs through Jan. 2.
“New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the year that’s past and to look forward to the future,” said Amy Ford, spokeswoman for CDOT in a news release. “It marks the beginning of a new year with endless possibilities.”
But “historically, it can also be a very dangerous time to be on the roads and we want to do everything we can to keep Coloradans safe,” she said.
During last year’s New Year’s Eve enforcement period, 501 people were arrested on Colorado roads for DUI and there were two alcohol-related fatalities.
The most recent crackdown during this year’s holiday parties ran from Dec. 6 through Dec. 16 and resulted in 652 arrests. Preliminary data shows that there were two alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities from the same period.
The enforcement is part of The Heat Is On campaign, which in 2012 resulted in 9,784 DUI arrests.
“The fewer arrests we make, the happier we are,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We want those numbers to decrease as the years go by because it means that people are planning ahead and taking safe rides home after drinking.”
The average blood alcohol content of all DUI arrests in 2012 was 0.18—more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.