By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – The unofficial start to summer got off to a rough start this year for 231 people around Colorado. That’s how many impaired drivers were arrested in the annual The Heat Is On campaign. Last year there were 323 arrests made during the same period.

The Colorado Springs Police Department had the highest number of arrests with 27 followed by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office with 22. The Colorado State Patrol arrested 64 drivers around the state.

“Safety and wellness have always been at the core of Colorado State Patrol’s values,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of CSP. “We have always been on high alert to keep Coloradans safe on state roads. Unfortunately, that meant arresting 64 motorists for driving impaired this Memorial Day weekend. We want Coloradans to remember that, although Gov. Polis has issued a Safer at Home order and fewer drivers may be on the roads, driving impaired is always prohibited, so plan for a sober ride home—no matter what.”

(credit: CBS4)

In Colorado the blood-alcohol limit for a DUI is 0.08 percent or higher. It is 0.05 percent or higher for a Driving While Ability Impaired charge. First-time DUI offenders can be punished with up to a year in jail, a license suspension and thousands of dollars in fines.

“When you get behind the wheel, you’re not only in control of your own safety, your actions impact the safety of everyone around you,” said Shoshana Lew, executive director at CDOT. “Just as we are all doing our part to protect each other during this pandemic, we need to protect each other on the road and that means eliminating impaired driving.”

The enforcement effort is a partnership between the Colorado State Patrol and more than 80 other law enforcement agencies around the state. The Heat Is On will return for the annual Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period which runs from June 12-22.

(credit: CBS)

Chris Spears

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