EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) – The Colorado State Patrol will team up with local law enforcement agencies during the Labor Day weekend for increased DUI patrol saturation in Eagle County.
The Gore Range DUI Task Force – which includes the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Vail Police Department, Avon Police Department, Eagle Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol – will conduct various DUI checkpoints throughout the county in an effort to keep intoxicated persons off the roadways.
The goal is to reverse a trend of deadly summer months caused by alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers. Last year in Colorado, 67 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, representing 36 percent of the 185 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2011. Those fatalities were up 19 percent last year from a record low 150 deaths involving alcohol in 2010.
“The fact that alcohol-related traffic deaths went up last year should be a wake-up call to everyone. Drunk and drug-impaired driving remains a serious crime in our state, and it’s time we all work together to put an end to it and save lives,” said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Citizens can do their part by reporting suspected drunk drivers – by dialing Star CSP/*277 a free cell call – and by taking responsibility to plan ahead by designating a sober driver or taking public transportation if celebrating with alcohol.
“And please remember to always buckle up – three out of four people killed last year in drunk-driving crashes were not wearing a seat belt.”
The minimum cost for a first-time DUI is $10,270. A DUI arrest will also result in jail time, loss of a driver’s license or ignition interlock, mandatory alcohol education classes and community service. For more consequences, resources and to find out what happens after a DUI arrest, visit www.NoDUIcolorado.org.
“The consequences of impaired driving can be devastating financially and personally, but become even more severe if you injure or kill someone. DUIs and alcohol-related fatalities are totally preventable when people plan ahead and make the right choice,” said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “CDOT will continue to support statewide law enforcement agencies with state and federal grants, as well as with public education campaigns like the Heat Is On to help keep drunk and drugged drivers off our roadways.”