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Colorado State Patrol’s ‘The Heat Is On’ Campaign July 4: ‘Drink & Don’t Drive.’

In 2013 nearly 2,400 people in Colorado were arrested for drinking and driving between Memorial Day and Labor Day. With the July 4th weekend celebrations approaching, keep in mind that YOU are responsible for what YOU do – it’s not law enforcement’s fault if you get arrested for breaking the law. The Colorado State Patrol, along with other law enforcement agencies, will be out in force this weekend with another ‘round’ (pardon the pun) of “The Heat Is On” campaign – and they’ve passed along some facts you should consider before cracking a beer and then cranking the engine.

Miami Police Set Up DUI Checkpoint For Holiday Drivers
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The hot summer months in Northern Colorado mean great things! We get to be outside in the sunshine; we get to see friends that have been holed up all winter; we get to do so many activities. Hot summers also mean cool drinks. Overdoing it on the cool drinks could lock you up in the cooler – or even worse.

Heat Is On Logo
CDOT

The numbers don’t lie: In 2013, over the Fourth of July weekend, over 500 people in Colorado were arrested for drinking too much and then driving; about 70 of those were here in Northern Colorado. “Too much” means having an elevated blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .05. A DUI comes when you are at .08 BAC.

I’d be interested to see the actual BAC numbers from 2013. I would not be surprised to see BACs of .15 and higher.

It is all because of judgment – at .05 BAC you think you can make that light, but you were wrong – you cut it pretty close. At .08, that car looks a lot farther away than it actually is – and you end up cutting them off – or worse.

Each year in Colorado, over 150 people DIE because of alcohol-related traffic collisions.

It’s not that you’re angry, our out to get anybody. It’s the alcohol! It’s messed up your circuitry. You may as well be stone sober and loosen all of your lug nuts before heading out. “That’s crazy! Somebody could get killed!” Exactly.

Your judgment says “I can drive”- your JUDGMENT is mistaken. When you get pulled over for drunk driving, it’s your stupid poor judgment that put you there. The alcohol does what it does. It makes you feel ’10-feet tall and bulletproof’ – and so you have ANOTHER drink: “I’m fine…”  Then, that same poor judgment that encouraged you to have that additional drink (or three), thinks that the stoplight is green. Hell, your judgment is so bad, it didn’t even see that there WAS a light. Big mistake.

With the holidays, it’s not that the authorities are out trying to ‘shoot fish in a barrel.’ Plain and simple, there are just A LOT MORE PEOPLE ON THE ROADS. More people for YOU to run into, while your judgment is telling you that you are within your own lane – you are not.

In 2013, 15 law enforcement agencies across Larimer and Weld counties, in conjunction with Colorado State Patrol, participated in the “Heat Is On” campaign over the July Fourth weekend. This year’s enforcement should see the same amount of patrol cars looking for people who’ve let their judgment be effected by alcohol. The campaign goes from 6 p.m on Thursday, July 3, through the 2 a.m. hour on Monday, July 7.

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Issac Brekken/Getty Images

The message is very clear: “Drink & Don’t Drive.”  Have FUN! Get out, see friends, play games, eat corn on the cob, watch fireworks… And go ahead and have a beer: a glass of wine: a cocktail. Just do NOT get behind the wheel if you have had too much. A BAC of .05 comes easier than you may think! Don’t be afraid to ask for a ride! Don’t let your judgment get YOU – and OTHERS – into serious trouble out on Northern Colorado’s roads this weekend!

Get more information on CDOT’sThe Heat Is On” campaign – they have an app you may want to check out – HERE!

NEXT: How Does Colorado Stack Up to Other States Regarding Alcohol?

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