Silent night

Local law enforcement officers report no DUIs on New Year's Eve

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Snowy roads helped ensure a quiet New Year's Eve for area law enforcement officers as several agencies reported no drunk-driving arrests.

"I'm not sure if we had any last year," said Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta, himself riding with patrols Tuesday night, which recorded no DUI arrests.

Craig police had four patrol officers on the New Year's shift, including one specifically working DUI patrol.

With taxi service suspended locally, Vanatta said police did give rides home to "several" residents.

"It was just normal weekend activity," the chief said, suggesting Craig has followed a national trend of keeping New Year's Eve parties off roads.

"I really believe people are more aware of the consequences of driving drunk ... New Year's Eve is not as big a deal as it used to be," he said.

Brad Keadle, Colorado State Patrol trooper, also reported relatively slow activity from troopers covering Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco, Grand and Jackson counties.

A beefed-up force of 15 troopers worked those areas New Year's Eve, Keadle said.

"It's now amateur weekend," he said. "People I think know we're going to be out in force."

Locally, the Craig-based troop 4B made one DUI arrest, and worked one alcohol-related crash just west of the city on U.S. Highway 40.

Details on the crash from the state patrol were unavailable Thursday morning.

Some 19 roadside assists to motorists were made in the troop, Keadle said.

Heavy, quick snow accumulation kept many Moffat County Sheriff's deputies close to Craig and off some county roads that had not been plowed, according to Sgt. Rick Holford, one of four deputies on patrol Tuesday night.

The sheriff's department also reported no DUI arrests.

"The weather had a lot to do with it," Holford said. "A lot of people are drinking at friends' houses."

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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