All across the country and in Colorado, the past several decades has seen a strong increase in awareness and education campaigns against drunk driving. At the same time, laws have strengthened to crack down on drunk drivers. The goal has always been to increase safety on the road and reduce the number of people who needlessly die at the hands of impaired drivers.

Sadly, records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the number of people who have been killed in drunk driving accidents across the state of Colorado has been rising. The state experienced a slight decline from 160 drunk driving deaths in 2014 to 151 in 2015 but has seen an increase every year thereafter. In 2016, the state recorded 163 impaired accident fatalities followed by 176 and then 188 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The increased number of drunk driving deaths last year came along with a reduced number of overall traffic fatalities.

In looking at Denver County specifically, more people died at the hands of drunk drivers between 2014 and 2018 there than in any of its neighboring counties. A total of 87 lives were lost in these crashes over this five-year period. These fatalities accounted for 34% of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents throughout the county.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to let residents in Colorado have an understanding of the realities associated with drunk driving so they can embrace the importance of taking action when any accident caused by a drunk driver occurs.