Local DUI arrests decrease

Law enforcement had quiet New Year's

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Local law enforcement said they heavily patrolled areas in Craig during the New Year's holiday, but officers reported only one drunken-driving arrest.

Colorado State Patrol troopers brought one man into the station to test his blood-alcohol level, but he was under the legal limit, said Capt. Gary Torgerson.

"It was quiet," he said of the holiday. "We had very few calls, I think because a lot of parties happened in town and people stayed in their homes to celebrate."

Moffat County sheriff's deputies had a busy weekend responding to a large numbers of calls, but none were the result of intoxicated drivers, said Sgt. Tim Jantz.

"It was a pretty uneventful night," he said. "We tried to have as many (deputies) out as possible."

Jantz said the department placed one car on the street to dissuade minors from drinking. Jantz said the tactic didn't net any tickets. The service is available with the help of a grant, Jantz said.

Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said the department netted one DUI arrest early New Year's Eve.

The department had about five patrol cars out on New Year's Eve, including Vanatta's.

He said New Year's Eve is becoming similar to any other weekend night, with its relatively low numbers of DUI arrests.

He gauged that intoxicated people may be becoming more conscientious of finding safer ways to get home. Officers also walked through some of Craig's bars on New Year's Eve, Vanatta said.

"We try to maintain a high visibility, and that in of itself is a deterrent," he said.

Colorado State Patrol helped initiate a campaign to encourage revelers not to drive while intoxicated during the New Year's holiday. A total of 322 DUIs were reported statewide from Friday to Monday. During that time, the CSP reported one fatal crash in its multi-county regional coverage area that includes Moffat County. The driver in that accident was charged with a DUI and vehicular homicide when the passenger, a 22-year-old Redstone resident, died.

Last year, CSP reported 427 DUI arrests during a four-day period during the New Year's holiday.

During the past five New Year's holiday periods, 34 people died in traffic accidents, half of which were alcohol related, the patrol reported.

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