The holidays have arrived and during the next several weeks many residents will join friends and family for festive gatherings.
And where there is a party so too is the presence of alcohol.
The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies want to remind residents to plan ahead this holiday season by designating a sober driver, taking public transportation or simply not driving if you’re tipsy, buzzed or too "blitzened."
A holiday Heat is on DUI crackdown is already under way and continues through New Year’s Day.
“If celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, it’s a fact that every single injury and death caused by drunk driving is totally preventable,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, in a news release. “Make smart driving choices by always arranging ahead of time for a sober ride home by public transportation or having a designated driver.
“Don’t ever let your friends drive drunk. Take their keys, have them stay the night, call a cab, or do whatever else is necessary. And always remember to buckle up.”
Last year there were 45 fatalities on Colorado highways during the holiday season, 15 of which were alcohol-related, the release states.
Additionally, there were more than 1,680 DUI arrests made from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.
“We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt in the release. “By planning ahead motorists can embrace the spirit of the holidays responsibly and safely.”
The average DUI in Colorado costs up to $10,270 and loss of driving privileges for up to a year, the release states.
Overnight parking locations, sober ride information, holiday planning tips and downloadable materials can be found at www.planaheadcolorado.com.