|Photo via CDOT|
Back in January, Harmony Foundation wrote a blog about the number of impaired driving arrests over the New Year. We hoped that that news of arrests would’ve served as a deterrent throughout the state, but it seems numbers were even higher during the recent Labor Day enforcement period between August 16th and September 3rd.
During this time period, known to be a heavy party time as people say goodbye to summer, there were a total of 1,342 arrests and 9 impaired driving related deaths. This was reported by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado State Police who have joined together to create a campaign called The Heat is On to crackdown on drunk driving.
According to the Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT, Darrell Lingk, “The Labor Day crackdown is one of the annual enforcement periods where we see significant increases in impaired driving arrests.” The increase in arrests was possible through the collaboration of 100 law enforcement agengies and extra enforcement workers on the beat looking for impaired drivers.
The Heat is On campaign also turned the classic “don’t drink and drive” slogan on its head and created the tagline “Drink, and don’t drive” to grab the attention of Coloradans in August via mobile billboards that were poised in populated places like Colorado Rockies games and Tour de Fat in Forte Collins. In addition, they implemented the Interactive Urinal Communicator at select bars that encouraged men at the urinal (in a 15 second automated message) to take a taxi over driving impaired.
The campaign is set to continue with the same extra assertion of efforts and enforcement during 12 time periods throughout the year. The next vamp up is scheduled for the Holiday Season. Unfortunately the arrests and the innovative campaign strategies weren’t enough to prevent the tragic 9 DUI related fatalities. Harmony Foundation gives our condolences as our hearts go out to the victims and their friends and families.
As we stated in January, we support all statewide efforts to crackdown on driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs – including marijuana and prescription medications. In our addiction treatment practice we find that a large percentage of those arrested for DUI have underlying alcohol or drug dependency issues that we effectively treat here at Harmony Foundation. We encourage those who have been arrested or those likely to be arrested for DUI to seek treatment to help themselves, and the public writ large, stay safe.