(COLO) – Each year as the warm weather starts to stabilize in May, Colorado troopers begin to see impaired driving incidents rise. The number of driving under the influence arrests hold fairly steady through summer into early autumn. In 2021, the Colorado State Patrol arrested 4,665 impaired drivers with over 35% of those occurring during the four-month period of May through August.
“With so many beautiful places to see in Colorado and plenty of events to attend when the weather isn’t a detractor, impaired driving grows in most of our communities,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We want people to get out for some fun, but also plan for a sober ride. There are so many modern-day options available to be responsible. There is no reason for anyone to drive impaired and risk ending a life.”
Colorado State Patrol 2021 arrest data showed that alcohol remains the most common reason for impaired driving (57%). However, driver usage of marijuana combined with alcohol has become a notable trend and accounted for 12.8% of last year’s arrests by state troopers. Alcohol combined with other drugs was in third place and accounted for 9%.
“Law enforcement knows the telltale signs of impaired driving, like lane violations, and go out of their way to stop it because of the deadly consequences of this inexcusable choice to drive intoxicated,” explained Chief Packard. “As a result, being arrested for impaired driving imposes some of the harshest penalties and will have a significant impact on a person’s life.”
Impaired driving is a serious concern in communities of all sizes across the state of Colorado. Looking at 2021 data, Colorado State Patrol arrested the most drivers for DUI/D in these top five counties:
- El Paso - 651
- Jefferson – 388
- Weld – 302
- Adams – 299
- Larimer – 262
As your summer plans heat up, think ahead and plan for a safe ride. If hosting is something you like to do be sure to allow people to stay the night after your party or BBQ. Or, arrange for sober rides.
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.