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Colorado drunk driving crackdown aimed to increase safety

Accidents caused or influenced by alcohol resulted in the loss of 161 lives in 2011 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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    December 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Sobriety checkpoints or other strengthening of drunk driving awareness is common around the nation over some key holiday weekends. Colorado's campaign known as The Heat Is On was put into effect over the long Halloween weekend recently in efforts to reduce fatalities and other alcohol-related accidents.

October 2012 vs. October 2013

In October of 2012, 24 people died in accidents involving alcohol. Six of those were during the days surrounding Halloween. The Colorado Department of Transportation this year made Halloween one of the 12 designated periods for implementing The Heat Is On effort by law enforcement.

The crackdown period began at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30 and lasted through 3:00 a.m. Monday, November 4. Reports indicate the following results:
- A total of 386 people were cited for drunk driving during the crackdown period.
- Aurora had the most arrests with 53.
- Denver had the second highest number of arrests with 52.
- Colorado Springs and Adams County registered 29 and 28 arrests respectively.

According to the Department of Transportation's preliminary statistics, there were a total of seven alcohol-related fatalities this year, none of which occurred over the Halloween time period.

How serious is the problem?

Accidents caused or influenced by alcohol resulted in the loss of 161 lives in 2011 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is 36 percent of the total number of traffic fatalities statewide for any reason.

Denver County had the third highest number of any traffic fatality compared to other Colorado counties that year with 33 deaths. Of those, 16 deaths resulted from alcohol-influenced accidents. That means that nearly half of all people who died in motor vehicle accidents in Denver in 2011 were killed in drunk driving accidents.

Colorado's continued efforts to increase public safety

Through legislation and law enforcement activities such as The Heat Is On, the state of Colorado, counties and local municipalities work continually to keep residents safe. According to state data, 3,123 arrests for either DWAI or DUI were made in Denver County in 2011. Of those arrests, the average blood alcohol content was 0.161.

People with a measured BAC of 0.05 percent to 0.07 percent are able to be arrested for driving while ability impaired by alcohol or drugs, or DWAI. For drivers with measured BACs of 0.08 or greater, the arrest is made for driving under the influence of alcohol or drug, or DUI.

Options for citizens

Certainly individual defensive driving habits can help keep you safe on the road but when your efforts are not sufficient and you are involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should seek help, especially if you have sustained a personal injury. Obtaining council from a professional is the best way to ensure you receive the compensation that you truly need and deserve.

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