Thousands of other Coloradans planned ahead for safe & sober rides
January 7, 2011
Denver, CO – During special Heat Is On enforcement periods between Nov. 23, 2010 and Jan. 3, 2011, law enforcement agencies across Colorado arrested 1,556 people for impaired driving. During that time, 41 people were killed on Colorado roadways and 14 (34%) of those fatalities occurred in a crash that involved alcohol.
The alcohol-related fatalities are up from the 2009-10-holiday season (Nov. 23, 2009 – Jan. 3, 2010), when 11 people (27%) were killed in alcohol-related crashes out of 41 total traffic fatalities. There were 1,630 DUI arrests last holiday season, slightly higher than this year.
“As we start the New Year, it’s important to remember those who are no longer with us because of someone’s careless decision to drink and drive,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “The thousands of drivers who were arrested for DUI over the past year should count themselves lucky that they didn’t kill themselves or someone else. We will remain vigilant in 2011 to keep our roadways safe from impaired drivers. Please continue to do your part by designating a sober driver and never letting someone drive who has had too much to drink.”
The 2010 Thanksgiving travel week in Colorado was a particularly deadly one, resulting in five alcohol-related fatalities out of six. During the entire month of December, nine people died in alcohol-related crashes. There were zero alcohol-related traffic deaths from New Year’s Eve through the holiday weekend
CDOT and its partners encouraged holiday revelers to plan to prevent drinking and driving and 668 people took the Plan Ahead Pledge at www.PlanAheadColorado.com. These drivers pledged to commit to designating a sober driver, taking public transportation or arranging to spend the night. As a reward, CDOT will choose one of those who pledged to win a free night in Denver including a room at the Hyatt Regency Denver, dinner for two and a town car for the evening from Yellow Cab.
“We appreciate the many Coloradoans who took the advice to plan ahead for holiday parties and family gatherings by making sure they had safe and sober rides home,” said Pamela Hutton, governor’s representative for highway safety at the Colorado Department of Transportation. “Countless drivers made the conscious decision to do the right thing, yet there were still those whose choice resulted in 14 lives lost over the holidays. It’s time for all of us to do our part to prevent these tragic deaths in 2011.”
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