Law enforcement makes 19 DUI arrests over holiday
SUMMIT COUNTY – This Fourth of July holiday, law enforcement officials opted to send more officers on patrol rather than setting up sobriety checkpoints in Summit County.
“There were several reasons for not doing the checkpoint,” said Summit County Sheriff’s Capt. Derek Woodman. “No. 1 being that we had such a commitment to watching all the fire issues, we didn’t want to commit resources to a checkpoint.”
Sheriff’s officers plan to conduct a checkpoint sometime this summer, but historically, checkpoints are relatively ineffective, Woodman said.
“Saturation patrol … is definitely more effective for us than a checkpoint,” he said. “For whatever reason, we just haven’t had a large number of arrests from checkpoints – a couple here and there. We’re able to be in more areas in the county and not just one specific location (with saturation patrol).”
This year, local law enforcement officials made 19 DUI arrests throughout the Fourth of July holiday, beginning from 6 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 3 a.m. Monday. The average blood alcohol content was 0.138, Sheriff’s public information officer Jill Berman said. The legal limit is 0.1 for DUI and 0.05 for driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
Seven extra cars patrolled the area on Thursday, four extra on Friday and three extra on Saturday, dispatcher Angela Demoran said.
Last year, officers made 12 DUI arrests during the Fourth of July holiday, only four of which came from the checkpoint set up on northbound Colorado Highway 9, just north of Gold Hill Road and Tiger Run Resort.
Sobriety checkpoints, extra patrol cars and overtime are made possible by Law Enforcement Assistant Fund grants as part of the statewide The Heat is On! anti-drunken driving campaign. Historically, law enforcement agencies have focused on the Fourth of July holiday to crack down on drunken driving.
Statewide, agencies reported 488 DUI arrests from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 3 a.m. Monday, said Dan Elder from the Colorado State Patrol.
Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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