State Patrol warns against drinking and driving

Pete FowlerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Don’t drink and drive.Authorities hope that message is heard leading up to New Year’s Eve, and that people can avoid being like the 449 people the Colorado State Patrol arrested for DUI in Colorado last New Year’s Eve.The CSP said it will be again stepping up enforcement and staffing levels through Jan. 1 to deter people from drinking and driving.CSP Capt. Rich Duran said that for the area including Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties, accidents and DUIs appear to be lower in December 2007 than they were in December 2006.”I think overall we’re on a track to have every single one of those categories reduced,” he said. “I think we’re doing well, as far as law enforcement goes and also getting the message out to people that drinking and driving don’t mix.”He thought stepping up enforcement over the Christmas holiday weekend and the weekend before that – known within the CSP as “office-party weekend” – may have contributed to the decreases.Duran said CSP staffing levels in the area will be almost double what they normally are for the days leading up to and including New Year’s Eve.”It’s a fact, drinking and driving don’t mix for anyone, regardless of age or life experience,” Col. Mark Trostel, chief of the CSP, said in a news release. “Defensive driving is key, and you should always be aware of the other drivers on the road. Always buckle up yourself and your passengers, as that is a major factor in preventing injuries and possible death.”If celebrating with alcohol, plan ahead and designate a sober driver or take alternate transportation. Law enforcement across the state will be out in force to keep our highways safe from impaired drivers.”

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