The holiday season is once again here. Unlike last year, more friends and family will be getting together for the celebrations. They may also be work parties to attend as well. Colorado law enforcement is also gearing up for their holiday tradition called “The Heat Is On” – this involves increased DUI enforcement by the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement.
The Thanksgiving push
This campaign was over the Thanksgiving holiday (November 20 to November 30). It is too soon for numbers for Thanksgiving 2021, but we have last year’s statistics. One-hundred and four different law enforcement agencies arrested 354 impaired drivers. The two counties with the most impaired drivers arrested in 2020 were El Paso County (764) and Larimer County (466).
There will be another Holidays Party push from December 15 to December 29, and the year closes out with a year-end push with a New Year’s Eve push.
No way to close out the year
We often talk about the penalties, and Colorado’s are stringent regardless of whether they are drug- or alcohol-related. They include:
- Up to one year in jail
- Suspended license
- Fines, fees and additional costs that add up to thousands of dollars
- Probation for several years
- Mandatory community service
- Mandatory attendance to an alcohol or drug program
- Ignition interlock system installed (at the owner’s expense)
It may cause other problems for the driver, including loss of employment opportunities or increased insurance premiums.
Defendants can fight the charges
The circumstances of each stop are different, and law enforcement can make mistakes, so it is essential to discuss the details of the case with knowledgeable legal counsel before going to court. They can help ensure that the stop violated none of the defendant’s rights and that the charge reflects the stop’s circumstances.