DUI enforcement tonight | SummitDaily.com

DUI enforcement tonight

Jane Stebbins

SUMMIT COUNTY – Over-imbibing on New Year’s Eve could cost you – and your host – more than a bad headache Jan. 1.

Law enforcement agents throughout the state have arrested more than 600 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the past 10 days, and they plan to arrest even more in the next several days.

The arrests are the culmination of the annual Holiday DUI Mobilization, complete with sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols through Sunday.

“This campaign is to prevent needless tragedies,” said Colorado Department of Transportation director Tom Norton. “The holiday season is an especially high-risk time for impaired driving.”

On New Year’s Eve last year, two people died in traffic accidents in Colorado; both accidents were related to alcohol.

Overall, traffic deaths in Colorado have decreased 13 percent in 2003, with 597 people dying on Colorado highways compared to 690 such deaths in 2002.

Last year, agencies arrested 135 people for driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve – the highest number of DUI arrests in a single night during the 16-day enforcement period.

“Reports so far show there were fewer DUI arrests during the second weekend of enforcement compared to the first weekend,” said Colorado State Patrol chief Mark Trostel. “We hope this trend continues and more people make the responsible choice to designate a sober driver.”

Party hosts need to be careful, as well.

State law says bar owners and their employees can be held liable if they knowingly serve alcohol to a minor or to someone who is visibly intoxicated and that person injures or kills another as a result. Private party hosts can be held liable if they knowingly serve alcohol to someone under the age of 21.

Someone who lends their vehicle to someone they know is intoxicated might also be held accountable if that person injures or kills someone while driving intoxicated.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.

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