STATEWIDE — Sunday will crown the winner of Super Bowl LII, but some fans will find themselves losing their license, money and freedom associated with a DUI conviction. In coordination with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and statewide law agencies, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will conduct the second The Heat Is On DUI enforcement period of 2018 over Super Bowl weekend. Law enforcement may conduct increased patrols, saturation patrols and checkpoints during the enforcement period, which extends from Feb. 2 to Feb. 5.
“Super Bowl weekend presents a fun opportunity for many to gather with family, friends, food and often alcohol for a celebration of sports,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “CDOT wants to remind fans across the state to plan ahead for a safe ride home before they start drinking during the big game.”
The consequences for a DUI can include up to one year in jail, license suspension and costs over $13,500 after considering fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs. In 2017 there were 232 crash fatalities that involved an impaired driver in Colorado, which is a 16 percent increase from 2016. So far in 2018, 14 people have been killed in impaired driving crashes on Colorado roadways.
“Statistics continue to show high rates of arrests and fatal crashes caused by impaired drivers in Colorado,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP. “Last year CSP arrested over 4,800 impaired drivers on Colorado roadways. Our goal is to reduce fatal and injury crashes involving impaired drivers and keep all Colorado drivers safe.”
If you are joining in on the festivities this weekend, remember these tips to keep yourself and loved ones safe:
Planning on Drinking?
· Plan for a sober ride home before heading out to watch the big game. Consider getting a sober ride to your destination so you won’t be tempted to later drive impaired. Great options available include taxis, Uber, Lyft and public transit.
· If you appoint a designated driver, ensure they are truly sober, not simply more sober than you are. Buzzed driving is still drunk driving.
· Enjoy the food at your favorite party along with your alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol quickly and alternate your drinks with non-alcoholic beverages.
· If you’re ever unsure if you are safe to drive, always err on the side of caution and find a sober ride home.
Hosting a Party?
· Encourage your guests to designate a sober driver or plan for a safe ride home before heading over.
· Create an Uber or Lyft group ride code for your party and share with your guests.
· Provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks and encourage your guests to bring their favorites to keep everyone fed and hydrated throughout the game.
· Make your own last call and stop serving alcohol after the third quarter or even half time.
· Don’t forget that as a host, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a crash, you could be held liable.
· Offer guests a night on your couch if a sober ride home is unavailable.
Reporting for Duty as the Designated Driver?
· If you’re driving, do not drink. Your responsible choice can save lives.
· Dive into the food and enjoy the non-alcoholic drinks at your favorite party.
· Offer safe rides to those who may not have prepared a sober ride home.
· Buckle up for safety and require all your passengers to do the same when it’s time to head home.
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 14 specific high-visibility impaired-driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large 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.