Craig Briefs: 564 arrested by CDOT for driving drunk
Four people died in alcohol related crashes and 564 Coloradans were arrested for driving impaired during the 10-day Holiday Party DUI enforcement period, according to a press release from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
CDOT, Colorado State Patrol and more than 60 law enforcement agencies managed checkpoints, patrolled the highways and arrested impaired drivers throughout the state to keep the roads safe for those heading to and from holiday festivities and parties.
“A night in jail is just the first consequence that impaired drivers will face,” Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in a statement. “The costs can exceed $10,000 when you add up court costs, lawyer fees, insurance rate increases and more. It’s a cost that can be easily avoided by planning ahead to designate a sober driver or find an alternative ride home.”
In addition to the arrests, there were four alcohol-related fatalities that occurred between Dec. 5 and 15. Within the 12 DUI enforcement periods this year, more than 8,000 DUI arrests have been made and more than 150 alcohol-related fatalities have occurred in 2014, according to preliminary data, compared to the nearly 9,800 enforcement period DUIs and 187 fatalities in 2013.
“We have the goal of reaching zero traffic fatalities in the state, and though we aren’t there yet, we continue to implement programs to help us reach this goal,” Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT, said in a statment. “The DUI enforcement is one of those programs that we continue to implement to make our roads safe for residents and tourists in Colorado.”
The next DUI enforcement period will occur during New Year’s Eve weekend from Dec. 30 through Jan. 5.
CPW: Keep your dogs from chasing wildlife
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is issuing a warning to people whose dogs chase wildlife: Keep them under control and away from deer, elk and other wild animals, or face the possibility of steep fines and the loss of a beloved pet.
Dogs that chase wild animals can cause them extreme stress and injuries from bites, wildlife officials said.
By late winter, many big game animals that are susceptible to dog harassment are pregnant females. As they run to escape, deer and elk expend crucial energy that can lead to an increase in the mortality rate of the animals or their unborn calves and fawns.
To report any instance of dogs chasing wildlife, the public can call the local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office or Colorado State Patrol. In Colorado, the fine for knowingly or negligently allowing a dog to harass wildlife is $274, including surcharges.
AAA Study: seniors want tougher driving laws
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest report on aging Americans shows that senior drivers strongly support tougher driving laws, from bans on wireless devices to ignitions interlocks for first-time DUI offenders.
The senior drivers also overwhelmingly support greater scrutiny in the license-renewal process for themselves and their peers. More than seven out of 10 drivers age 65 and older favor policies that require drivers age 75 and older to renew their license in person and also support requirements that seniors pass a medical screening to remain licensed.
With an above-average snowpack following a snowy winter, local firefighters and wildlife experts are expecting a mild fire season this year, especially at higher elevations.