State sees a super-sized increase in Super Bowl DUI arrests

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By Ramsey Scott

Colorado saw a dramatic increase in the number of DUI arrests during Super Bowl weekend this year, setting a new record for the state-wide enforcement period.

The 421 arrests, from Feb. 1-4, mark a new record for the five-year-old enforcement period during the country’s most watched football game. Last year there were 303 arrests during the same period.

“I think this is a more dramatic (increase),” said Colorado State Trooper Josh Lewis, spokesmen for the Colorado State Patrol.

Denver, Aurora and Colorado Springs saw the highest number of arrests in the state.

Lewis said the whole idea behind the enforcement period is to be proactive and discourage people from driving after they’ve been drinking. Agencies at both the state and local level help increase law enforcement’s presence.

“We want people to know we’re out there for the safety of everybody. Our ultimate goal is to not arrest anybody,” Lewis said.

And the data seems to suggest staging sobriety checkpoints brings down the rate of DUI incidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to data that shows instituting checkpoints can bring down the number of drinking related car accidents by nine percent.

“It’s clear that there is much more work to be done to educate Coloradans on drinking and driving,” said Colorado State Patrol Captain Jeff Goodwin in a press release. “Even though we urged people to plan ahead, at least 421 people put both themselves and others in danger when they made the decision to drive under the influence. Now they are facing fines and costs totaling $10,270.”