(COLO) – Whether you are headed to your annual holiday office party or just putting together an informal hangout with friends, take the time to make a plan for a sober ride home before you leave for the celebration. Last year, impaired driving deaths increased to 278 statewide, a 6% increase from 2021.
Looking at the year-to-date crash picture, Colorado State Patrol crash investigators have handled over 210 crashes from January through _July_. The most common day of the week for these injury or fatal impaired crashes was Sunday from midnight to 3 a.m. followed closely by Saturday from 9 through the 11 p.m. hour.
“Having a good time doesn’t give you an excuse to become a party hazard on our roadways,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “It takes just a few minutes to pick an option for a sober ride. Know that choice before you head out so you don’t become a liability to your employer, your friends or your community.”
In 2022, the Colorado State Patrol investigated 2,079 impaired driving crashes. Impaired driving impacts every community across the state, but the top five counties for impaired driving crashes last year were:
- Adams – 251
- El Paso - 234
- Jefferson - 180
- Weld - 138
- Larimer - 132
“Guessing who is the least intoxicated person at the party to serve as the driver is a foolish and dangerous game,” stated Col. Packard. “Take the guesswork out of it by planning ahead. Odds are you will be wrong anyway and this poor decision will place your life and many others in harm’s way.”
The message is simple. If you plan on going out and drinking or taking drugs as a part of that event, you must also include a sober ride home on your preparation list. If you can’t or don’t want to stay at the party’s location until you are sober, there are many options: ride shares, taxis, public transportation, a sober friend/family member, or walk.
Troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to the top fatal crash factors, including lane violations, impaired driving and speeding while launching a yearlong campaign called “Drive Safe.” This campaign reminds people to reflect on everything they love and value and plan a sober ride when planning to celebrate.
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.