It’s finally here: the three-day Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of another Denver summer. Everyone is keenly away of when they get a paid day off of work, but some readers might not be aware that the Colorado State Patrol traditionally steps up enforcement over the holiday, putting extra patrols on the highways and streets looking for drunk drivers and high drivers.
The State Patrol joins law enforcement agencies across the state as part of the Heat Is On campaign. In some places, you might come across a sobriety checkpoint at which officers will look for signs of impairment and ask some motorists to take breathalyzer tests. In other places, you might spot a heavy concentration of patrol cars on the lookout for DUI drivers.
A Colorado Department of Transportation spokesperson said the heightened enforcement period has been going on for weeks already, but will culminate on Labor Day. She said previous efforts are paying off, as arrests for driving under the influence have been decreasing over recent years.
In 2013, about 1,300 DUI arrests were made across the state, down from approximately 1,500 the year before.
Aspen Public Radio recently asked Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo why law enforcement agencies don’t step up DUI enforcement efforts year-round.
“Staking out bars and waiting for people to come out, I don’t think that’s acceptable,” the sheriff said.
That sort of eternal-DUI stakeout effort would raise red flags among civil liberties groups and average Americans concerned that their rights to go where they please would be quashed.
Those who find themselves facing a DUI charge at the end of this weekend should consider approaching the criminal justice system with the help of an experienced attorney who understands the processes by which charges can be reduced or sometimes dropped entirely.
Source: Aspen Public Radio, “Season of the DUI,” Roger Adams, Aug. 26, 2014