It looks like drunk driving is on the rise in Colorado.

Disturbing numbers reported by the Colorado Transportation Department indicate that either more people are driving while impaired, or more of them are being caught.

According to the Durango Herald, in 2017 there were more than 10,000 arrests for impaired driving, as a result of 14 specific enforcement hearings. That compares to just over 7,000 arrests in 2016 during 12 enforcement periods. That doesn't include all the arrests made during routine traffic stops, so the total number of drunk driving arrests is actually a lot more.

In the recent New Year's Eve enforcement period in Mesa County there were 11 drunk driving arrests made by Fruita, Grand Junction, and Mesa County law enforcement.

What is most disturbing is that one-third of all traffic fatalities in Colorado involved drunk driving. That means that 226 people died in alcohol-related accidents in 2017, and these are people that didn't have to die

In Colorado there are two levels of driving offenses related to alcohol spelled out by the DMV.

Driving While Ability is Impaired (DWAI) carries a blood alcohol content level of .05%. The more common Driving Under the Influence (DUI) designation has an alcohol limit of .08% for drivers over the age of 21.

If you are alive to read this, you can be part of the solution and vow not to drink and drive in 2018. There are plenty of things in our lives we can't control, but choosing whether or not to drink or drive is one thing that we have complete control over.

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