Durango Police make 11 DUI arrests during Snowdown weekend

Local agencies join statewide effort to nab the impaired

Local law enforcement agencies followed suit with statewide efforts to ramp up DUI enforcement for the Super Bowl weekend, which just so happened to coincide with Snowdown.

Across the state, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced there were 273 impaired drivers arrested from Feb. 3 to Feb. 6 – lower than last year’s total of 325 arrests for driving under the influence.

“Last year, nearly one-third of Colorado’s traffic fatalities involved an impaired driver,” Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT, said in a prepared statement.

“Impaired driving is a major issue CDOT will continue to address to help curb Colorado’s traffic deaths. Every time someone chooses to drive impaired, they are putting everyone on the road at risk.”

Nearly 100 agencies participated in “The Heat Is On” campaign, with the Aurora Police Department recording 29 arrests, Colorado Springs Police Department with 28 arrests and Denver Police Department with 27 arrests.

Locally, the Durango Police Department made 11 DUI arrests in that same time period, Lt. Ray Shupe said. For a Super Bowl weekend amplified by the alcohol-friendly Snowdown festival, that’s about average.

“It was a very busy weekend, but we prepare for it and have extra staff,” Shupe said. “We’ve gotten accustomed to it (Snowdown), but it’s definitely one of our high-impact weekends.”

Shupe said on a normal weekend, the department averages anywhere from five to seven DUI arrests. The department records about 300 DUIs a year, he said.

The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office made one DUI arrest on Feb. 6, Super Bowl Sunday, during the day, spokesman Dan Bender said. The Sheriff’s Office also assisted the Southern Ute Indian Tribe police with a DUI on Feb. 3.

Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll said the agency made three DUI arrests over that weekend: one on Feb. 3 and two on Feb. 4.

jromeo@durangoherald.com