DENVER (CBS4) – Despite the pandemic, some drunk driving numbers are still up in Colorado. Antonia Leyba’s parents, Margo and Louie were hit by a truck driven by a suspected drunk driver while they were sleeping in August.
“Both of my parents were involved in the Chicano Crusades,” Lebya said, referring to the movement for people of Latino origin to get equality.
Her mom has had multiple surgeries, and during this time, family members have not been able to see her. Now, the couple that’s been strong for so many others before are the ones that need help.
“She had a severe leg injury and she’s in horrible amount of pain,” Leyba said.
Denver police shared the number of DUI arrests between March 1 and Sept. 21 spanning 2017 to 2020. In 2018, police arrested 1,024 people, then 977 in 2019 and 694 in 2020.
“Even though the numbers are going down, one event has traumatized four generations,” Leyba said.
Statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation show, statewide DUI traffic fatalities are actually up to 131 from January to Aug. 31 in 2020 compared to 114 during the same period in 2019, a 15% increase. This is unusual since DUI fatalities should be down, not up, as people have been driving less.
“It’s our understanding that he was at a local party,” Leyba added.
CDOT is trying to figure out why deaths have gone up, it says there may be a perception that less law enforcement are patrolling, so people are more willing to take the risk. It could also be less traffic means higher speeds, which can be more dangerous when impaired.
“My parents were asleep in their bed, it was 1:30 in the morning. They were where they were supposed to be. They were at home in their bedroom asleep, and being told by my insurance company that my parents are responsible for their deductible, it’s hard to accept. It’s hard to understand,” Leyba explained of the difficulties they still face as a family.
Regardless of the percentage some DUI states have dipped, for the Leybas, they will always be too high. The family is raising money for their parents’ recovery with a GoFundMe page. Donations can also be made via Zelle by sending them to email@example.com.