DENVER (CBS4)– Law enforcement are urging New Year’s Eve celebrants to be sober before getting behind the wheel or find another way home on Saturday night.
“Don’t take any chances,” said Colorado Department of Transportation spokesman Sam Cole.
Thousands of police and deputies from more than 100 law enforcement agencies are on patrol across Colorado. Several DUI checkpoints have been set up to stop impaired drivers.
“The law enforcement will be looking for both drug and alcohol impaired drivers,” said Cole.
Last year, more than 500 people died in traffic-related crashes in Colorado. CDOT said about a third of them were due to drug or alcohol impaired drivers.
“We see over 20,000 DUI arrests every year in Colorado. That’s about 77 arrests per day,” said Cole.
In an effort to discourage drinking and driving, there are free options to get people home from their New Year’s Eve celebrations safely.
RTD’s light rail and bus system are free from 7 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday.
The Sawaya Law Firm will reimburse cab fares to party goers who take a taxi home. Programs like Uber and Lyft are also available, although not free, cheaper than a DUI arrest.
“The cost of a DUI in Colorado is over $13,000 and the consequences are quite severe,” said Cole. “In the end, what’s so important is that you make a plan before you leave your home.”
The makers of BACtrack, an app designed to help drivers determine whether they are too impaired to drive, promote that some of their products are as accurate as police breathalyzers. The New York Times compared three personal breathalyzers to a highway patrolman’s breathalyzer and found BACtrack readings were closest to the law enforcement readings.
The BACtrack Mobile Pro retails for $99.99. It’s sold at most major retailers.