Impaired driving fatalities up 16% in Colorado in 2021

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AURORA | New data from the Colorado Department of Transportation shows traffic fatalities involving an impaired driver increased 16% in 2021. 

“All impaired driving deaths in 2021 could have — and should have — been avoided,” Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in a Friday news release, ahead of a long holiday weekend of high enforcement. “The new year is a chance to reset your own beliefs and behaviors around driving: buckle up, put down distractions and always drive sober. Stop the excuses, you’re not driving alone out there.”

There were a total of 672 deaths on Colorado roadways last year, 246 of them involved an impaired driver, about 37%. Last month, there were 36 roadway fatalities across the state and nearly half involved an impaired driver. 

In 2019, there were 164 fatalities where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of more than .08. That was down about 15% from the previous year.

Adams County had 25 fatalities involving an impaired driver in 2021, the most in the state. Denver had 34 and Jefferson County had 21. El Paso County data is not yet available.

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