El Paso County — There have been 14 deaths involving impaired drivers in El Paso County this year, representing 34% of the county’s roadway fatalities. El Paso County also had the most DUI arrests by Colorado State Patrol (CSP) in the state in the first six months of this year. In response to the ongoing danger impaired drivers pose to road safety, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Colorado are launching an awareness campaign in El Paso County to save lives.
“Drunk driving is one of the main issues contributing to Colorado’s rising traffic fatalities,” said Darrel Lingk, CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director. “Everyone has the right to get home safely. If you’re drinking, don’t drive. We’re grateful for MADD Colorado and our law enforcement partners working to eliminate impaired driving.”
According to CSP arrest data for the first six months of 2022, El Paso County saw 342 drivers arrested for DUI, the most of any county in Colorado. Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will continue high-visibility DUI enforcement patrols through Oct. 24.
“Too many families have had the unthinkable happen, losing a loved one to an impaired driver,” said Fran Lanzer, MADD Colorado Executive Director. “With dozens of alternatives available — whether it’s a sober friend or family member, rideshare or public transit — there’s never a good reason to drive impaired.”
The It’s Not Complicated campaign reminds Colorado drivers that it’s never the right decision to drive after consuming alcohol, no matter how many drinks they have had. The campaign, available in English and Spanish, will be shared through digital and social media advertisements geo targeted to El Paso County.
“If residents are alarmed by the 2022 DUI arrests in their community, they should be absolutely angry that El Paso has held this top spot consistently with our agency since 2019,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We need you in this fight to end impaired driving.”
In their ongoing effort to eliminate impaired driving and create a future with No More Victims®, MADD Colorado is hosting the Colorado Springs Walk Like MADD fundraising walk on Oct. 8, 2022. The event is still accepting registrations and donations to reach its goal of $30,000. For more information, visit https://www.walklikemadd.org.
For yearly impaired driving crash and fatality data in Colorado, visit https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety/crash-data-management/fatal-crash-data. For trends involving impaired driving court cases, drug toxicology results and other impaired driving data, visit the Colorado Driving Under the Influence dashboard at https://ors.colorado.gov/ors-dui.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) was founded in 1980 and is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, fight drugged driving, prevent underage drinking and support the victims of these violent crimes. MADD has helped save more than 390,000 lives, prevent more than 9.400 drunk driving deaths per year (over 50 percent) and promote planning for getting home safely with a designated sober driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435). Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD (877-275-6233).
About the Heat is On
The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year, with 16 specific high-visibility impaired driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and significant public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. Find more details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips at HeatIsOnColorado.com. More information about DUI laws in Colorado can be found at NoDUIColorado.org. Learn more about CDOT’s dedication to keeping Colorado roads safe, including impaired driving enforcement objectives, arrest data and safety information at codot.gov/safety.