DENVER (CBS4/AP) – The Colorado State Patrol and police around the state are cracking down on drivers under the influence as the year draws to a close. The Colorado Department of Transportation says there will be saturation patrols and extra law enforcement officers on duty from Friday through Wednesday, with over 100 agencies participating.
Last year, 357 impaired drivers were arrested during the five-day period around New Year’s.
The increased enforcement comes as the head of the Colorado State Patrol is urging drivers to be more careful throughout the year. As of Thursday, 600 people had died on the state’s roads in 2018, including nine in less than 72 hours earlier this week. That included a teacher from Clark who died on Christmas Eve and a teenage girl who was killed in an Interstate 70 crash near Eagle.
In a video posted on social media, Col. Matthew Packard blamed “selfish driving” — from impairment to not paying attention — for the latest deaths.
“Nine people in 72 hours. That’s nine brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers … nine human beings who aren’t here any more. This is an epidemic that has to stop, right now. And that responsibly lies in my hands and your hands. Together we are the only solution to this,” Packard said.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)