Colorado

Nov 29, 2013 10:57 PM by Tony Spehar

DUI patrols increased for holiday season

The holiday season is unfortunately one of the worst times of the year for arrests, crashes and deaths caused by drunk drivers and law enforcement officers and those whose lives have been affected by drunk driving are asking drivers to find other options to get home.

Nonie Rispin, of Designated Driver of Colorado Springs, lost her cousin to a drunk driver. She and the volunteers for her non-profit which offers rides home for those who've had too much to drink know what it's like to lose a loved one senselessly.

"It's absolutely devastating and it's the most preventable tragedy there is," Rispin described. "There are so many options whether people call us or call a cab or call a friend or have a designated driver of their own it's just totally preventable, it doesn't need to happen."

Whether its calling a cab or selecting a designated driver the Colorado State Patrol is hoping drivers use other options to get home from holiday celebrations. If they don't, troopers are ramping up patrols to make sure drunk drivers get caught.

"If you're drinking and driving, if you're making that choice, expect to be caught and expect the fines to be quite excessive," explained Trooper Josh Lewis.

The campaign of increased patrols kicked off on Halloween and will continue every weekend until News Years. More troopers will be seen on highways and local police departments will also be stepping up enforcement. The hope is the very presence of more officers on the street will deter drunk drivers from hitting the road.

"If we could go out there and not have a single fatality happen but conversely not have a single arrest for DUIs then our job is done, we're absolutely happy with that," Trooper Lewis said. "Unfortunately people will make that wrong decision."

Law enforcement officers across the state, as well as those who've had their lives changed by drunk drivers, are asking the same thing.

"I would ask everybody out there to please have a plan, please don't be that person who takes a little girl's mother away," Nonie Rispin begged.

Designated Driver of Colorado Springs can be reached at 719-650-3450.

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