As the holiday season approaches, DUI enforcements gather steam and messages on safe driving and getting a designated driver seem to fill the air. Colorado State Patrol pursues drunk drivers with a vengeance, and this was evident in the ‘Heat Is On’ campaign that ran from December 30, 2014 to January 5, 2015. It witnessed participation from 73 law enforcement agencies. DUI crackdowns have become commonplace around holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween. For those who get caught in the DUI net, the consequences include a revoked driver’s license, financial penalty and even jail time.

343 DUI arrests

Colorado law enforcement made a total of 343 DUI arrests over the enforcement period. With 50, the state patrol made the most arrests, while Aurora, Denver and Colorado Springs police also stopped dozens of intoxicated drivers on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. In Denver, the enforcement activity was centered around the Lower Downtown neighborhood where a large crowd had gathered along 16th Street Mall to enjoy the fireworks. In comparison to the same time last, almost 100 more DUI arrests were made in 2014’s NYE enforcement period.

The previous holiday DUI enforcement spanned a 10-day period between 5th and 15th December. Four drunk driving related car accident deaths were reported during this enforcement period.

It was the 12th such campaign by the police, which has recorded more than 8,000 DUI arrests in 2014. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there were 466 driving fatalities last year, with 153 attributed to impaired drivers.

Fewer DUI arrests do not imply that less people are driving around intoxicated. This is because other factors, including reporting methods can cause a fluctuation in the numbers from year to year.

After the arrest

If you’ve been arrested on a DUI charge, you must request a hearing within seven days after your license has been confiscated by an officer. The next step is arraignment, which is the date on your ticket 30 to 60 days after your arrest. You don’t have to attend it if you have an attorney and you’re not on bond. Six weeks after the arraignment, your attorney will take up your case with the District Attorney and negotiate the best possible plea bargain. The trial is held within six months of entering a not guilty pela and decided by a jury of six.

If your plea bargain is accepted and plea is entered, or after a conviction at trial, the court imposes a sentence. This may include in-home detention, jail time, alcohol classes, fines and public service. When you face DUI arrest, engage the services of a qualified DUI Colorado attorney to increase the likelihood of a verdict in your favor. Without raising the right defenses at the right time, you can lose a winnable case pretty quickly.