By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) – After a long shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are anxious to hit the road and celebrate. But, the Colorado State Patrol wants you to remember you can’t celebrate if you never arrive.

“Memorial Day weekend is kind of the unofficial kickoff of summer, and certainly after 2020 we appreciate that there’s a lot of folks that want to go traveling. They want to go out driving,” said Trooper Josh Lewis. “The responsibilities of getting behind the wheel are always going to be there.”

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They say everyone who drives Colorado roadways knows what causes crashes.

“Speeding and distracted driving. Those are still some of the big causal factors for fatal and injury crashes in Colorado,” said Lewis.

Of course there is also driving while drunk or high. This weekend thus far has resulted in at least two DUI crashes. Saturday night a driver crashed at Federal  Boulevard and 73rd Avenue. Officers conducting saturation patrols determined it was a DUI crash.

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Earlier Saturday night, a 10 year old was killed on Interstate 76 in Brighton. Four people were traveling in a car when the driver lost control. Police arrested that driver, 27-year-old Karena Cecil, the mother of the child who was killed.

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Police speed and alcohol were factors in the crash. CSP was only assisting in the investigation, but they want people to avoid driving while under the influence to prevent scenes like the one in Brighton.

“If you are going to be celebrating, and you are going to be consuming, do so responsibly. Make sure you have a sober party designated beforehand,” said Lewis.

CSP says if you see a friend of family member getting behind the wheel when they are impaired stop them because it’s all of our responsibility to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

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“If you see it on the roadway call us. It’s absolutely an emergency situation, and should someone find themselves on the receiving end, jail is going to be the best case scenario.”

Michael Abeyta