As part of a national campaign, local law enforcement agencies
will coordinate their efforts to get drunken drivers off the
This campaign, entitled “Driving Under the Influence National
Crackdown,” started last weekend and will run through Sept. 12.
As part of the crackdown, last weekend officers from the
Loveland Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer
County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol and the CSU Police
Department ran two DUI checkpoints: one off of Pitkin Street and
College Avenue, the other on Lemay Avenue and Elizabeth Street.
Officer Jim Lenderts of Fort Collins Police Services was the
officer in charge for the weekend, and he headed up the checkpoint
at Pitkin and College.
“The goal at the checkpoint is to educate people.” Lenderts
said, adding that the checkpoints were not intended to arrest
people, but to get them home safe.
At 10 p.m. Saturday motorists passing down South College Avenue
were funneled into a parking lot just off Pitkin Street.
Three rows of cones moved the cars into one of three aisles each
flanked by five or six police officers. As the motorists drove
through, calls of “this one’s good,” and “check him” went up and
down each of the lines.
Once a car marked as “check” made it as far down the line as it
could go, an officer questioned the driver. If the officer decided
there was reasonable suspicion of alcohol use, the driver would be
asked to step out of the vehicle and perform a series of sobriety
If the driver was further implicated by his or her performance,
he or she was then arrested, issued a DUI ticket and given either a
blood test or breath test to determine his or her Blood Alcohol
A phlebotomist was on hand from Poudre Valley Hospital to
administer the blood tests, and volunteers from Mothers Against
Drunk Driving were also nearby to assist the officers by keeping
track of the arrested person’s keys and by providing food solicited
from businesses around the area.
Kim Munsterman, a MADD volunteer, said she was excited to be
outside helping the police officers and helping to educate local
drivers about the seriousness of drinking and driving.
“We’re not prohibitionists. We’re here to prevent the act of
drinking and driving,” Munsterman said.
All together, the two checkpoints brought 3,000 drivers through,
and 41 DUI arrests were made.
“All those people are going to go home and say, ‘Wow, those cops
take this drinking and driving thing seriously.’ Mission
accomplished,” Lenderts said.
Continuing the crackdown, this coming weekend in Weld County,
members of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State
Patrol will participate in DUI saturation patrols in an effort to
remove drunk drivers from the road.
According to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, the DUI national
crackdown started last weekend as a way to control any activities
resulting from the New West Fest and to keep CSU’s student body
Pam McCracken, the director of the Center for Drug and Alcohol
Education at Hartshorn Health Service, said Hartshorn also has
plans to educate motorists about drinking and driving. It will be
providing RamRide coupons to Fort Collins Police Services so that
officers can hand them out to the drivers going through
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
the average person who chooses to drink and drive does so 80 times
a year and it generally takes 240 of those trips behind the wheel
before he or she are caught.