Posted: Jul 9, 2010 3:54 PM by Greg Boyce
More than 600 arrests were made in Colorado from July 1 through 6 during the Heat Is On campaign.
The State Patrol participated along with 76 local law enforcement agencies. The idea was to get drunk drivers off the road during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. During that time, four people were killed in traffic crashes in the state, and one of the deaths was in an alcohol-related crash, according to preliminary data from the Colorado Department of Transportation. The alcohol-related fatalities and DUI arrests are down slightly from last year's holiday weekend, when three people were killed by drunk drivers and 647 DUI arrests were made.
"One of the preventable deaths we saw over the holiday weekend was in a high-profile suspected DUI case on I-25," said Col. James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "While the case is still under investigation, we do know that the driver did not have a history of DUI. It's a reminder that anyone can make a dangerous and sometimes deadly decision. But that means anyone can also make the safe decision to designate a sober driver before drinking."
Data is not available to determine how many of the 615 drivers arrested over the Fourth of July weekend will be impacted by the new law went into effect on July 1st, which requires tougher penalties for repeat DUI offenders. It stipulates a minimum of 10 days in jail for a second DUI offense and 60 days in jail for a third and subsequent DUI offenses.
Twenty nine people were arrested on DUI charges by the Colorado Springs Police Department during those five days.