Colorado residents are familiar with the annual The Heat Is On campaign, during which police attempt to really crack down on drunk driving. This usually leads to a notable spike in arrest numbers.
While there was a spike this year, it was far smaller than it has been in previous years. Not nearly as many people got arrested for driving under the influence in 2018.
From the outside, it is easy to assume that this means people are not driving under the influence as often. Isn’t that a change that the police would happily embrace? However, officers have determined that the reason for the drop is not that fewer people are choosing to drink and drive, but just that they did not get as much funding in 2018 as they have in previous years. That meant fewer officers went out for the enforcement periods and so they did not arrest as many people.
“It has much more to do with boots on the ground and agencies participating than any breakthrough in behavior,” said one official. “That funding was significantly reduced in 2018, which helps to explain why we saw fewer arrests.”
He was not exaggerating the decline in funding. Back in 2017, the Colorado Department of Transportation gave out around $833,900 for these periods of increased enforcement. In 2018, CDOT only gave them $1,645. That certainly meant they had less money to work with and officials said they are investigating new funding sources.
If you did get arrested on DUI charges, despite the decline, you need to know all of the defense options you have.