Sep 13, 2010 7:25 PM by Greg Boyce

Traffic fatalities down over summer in Colorado

Preliminary data from the Colorado Department of Transportation shows a 5 percent decrease in the number of alcohol-related fatalities this year between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. CDOT reports 47 people were killed this summer in alcohol-related crashes, compared to 55 last summer. DUI arrests were also down 12 percent from 3,531 in 2009 to 3,111 in the last three months.

"Our goal is always to reach zero for both the number of senseless deaths and DUI arrests," said Col. James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "Impaired driving is a tragic crime that wastes lives and causes immeasurable grief and loss. It is a crime that is totally avoidable by simply making the right choice of always designating a sober driver."

"Although the number of summer alcohol-related fatalities is still preliminary, and may go up as reports come in, it does indicate we are making progress in the fight against this deadly crime," said Pamela Hutton, Chief Engineer and Governor's Representative for Highway Safety at CDOT. "Last year we had a record-low number of alcohol-related fatalities, and it seems we are moving toward saving more lives this year."

The "100 Days of Heat" campaign kicked off Memorial Day Weekend with 651 DUI arrests. The Fourth of July enforcement period resulted in 591 DUI arrests, and summer sobriety checkpoints netted 297 DUI arrests. Most recently, Colorado law enforcement agencies wrapped up participation in the national DUI crackdown that occurred Aug. 20 through Sept. 7th, resulting in 1,650 DUI arrests.




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