It goes without saying that you should never drink and drive. This Memorial Day, however, as you and your family celebrate the start of summer you will want to take extra care to avoid drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
According to a May 21 Chaffee County Times article, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will all be ramping up their DUI enforcement this Memorial Day weekend in an effort to catch drunk drivers.
From Friday, May 22 through Tuesday, May 26, you can expect to see a saturation of law enforcement along roadways looking to cite and arrest drivers under the influence.
“As Coloradans celebrate the holiday, they may head to concerts, BBQs or other events where alcohol or marijuana may be consumed,” Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT, said. “CDOT urges everyone across the state to plan ahead and have a safe way home. That cab ride home will be cheaper than a $10,000 DUI. It’s simple — if you drink or consume marijuana, don’t drive.”
Memorial Day weekend marks the start of Checkpoint Colorado, a more than 100-day summer DUI enforcement period that runs through Labor Day weekend. During this period, local police departments will each conduct three DUI checkpoints.
The Memorial Day DUI enforcement surge also comes just after the Colorado legislature passed a bill that will bring felony charges to habitual drunk drivers.
Currently, a first-time DUI offense in Colorado will result in a one-year license suspension, along with fines ranging from $300 to $1,000. According to KDVR, the bill would make a driver’s fourth DUI a felony charge that could result in six years in prison and a severe fine.
The bill aims to reduce the number of habitual drunk drivers in Colorado. Last year, an investigation found that more than 12,000 Colorado drivers convicted of two or more DUIs were still driving.
Now that the bill has passed the state legislature, it will go to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Gov. Hickenlooper has previously voiced his support for the bill and said he plans to sign it when it arrives at his desk.