One of the most common causes of injuries and fatalities in crashes in Colorado is drunk driving. The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice determined that over a third of drivers convicted of a DUI in 2018 previously had a DUI conviction. Perhaps more surprisingly, 8% had three or more but were still behind the wheel.
Colorado takes drunk driving seriously, which is why 26,255 cases were filed with at least a single DUI charge in 2018. In three out of four cases, men were involved. Around 30% of cases included drivers between the ages of 26 and 34.
Colorado's DUI arrests showed significant intoxication reports
Looking at the blood alcohol tests that were taken from those involved in the crashes, many drivers were significantly over the .05% limit for a DWAI or .08% limit for a DUI. On average, drunk drivers in the study had a blood alcohol content of 0.156%. In the majority of cases, 84%, those tested had a BAC over 0.08%.
What this seems to show is that drivers who get into crashes tend to be extremely intoxicated. They should be aware of their intoxication and avoid driving, but they do so anyway.
What is the Colorado Department of Transportation doing to help?
The Colorado Department of Transportation increased DUI enforcement in 2020 between Sept. 11 and Oct. 28. During that time, 1,398 people were arrested for DUIs, which was a decrease from previous years. Despite that, impairment is still a leading cause of serious crashes in the state.
Drunk drivers cause serious injuries and fatal collisions
There is no question that drunk drivers are more likely to get involved in crashes and to cause injuries to themselves or others. They are also more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than other drivers due to their slower response times and reckless actions caused by impairment. It is important that these drivers are held responsible for choosing to drive drunk, because their actions continue to harm and kill others. They put other people at risk when there are many options to help them avoid driving after drinking.