Sep 132009
 
Authors: Matt Minich

The Colorado Department of Transportation kicked off a new DUI campaign when CSU head football coach Steve Fairchild and CU-Boulder football coach Dan Hawkins warned students against driving drunk during the Rocky Mountain Showdown last week.

The public service announcement, which aired over national television and at Folsom field in Boulder, is part of the new campaign, which specifically targets college students and emphasizes the financial impact of being arrested for driving while intoxicated, a figure that CDOT estimates is about $10,000.

“Using the football season is a good way to reach a lot of students,” said Heather Halpape, a spokesperson with Safety Programs at CDOT.

CDOT is spending an estimated $20,000 for the campaign on the CSU campus alone, Halpape said. The money is part of more than $1 million in federal money specifically designated for DUI education and outreach.

A PSA featuring Fairchild will run at each CSU football game throughout the season, and a similar radio ad will accompany games during basketball season, said Gary Ozzello, the senior associate athletic director.

In addition, the estimated $10,000 DUI cost is posted on 700 campaign posters around the CSU campus and Fort Collins, as well as on a large banner hung in Hughes stadium, Halpape said.

The campaign also targets five other Colorado schools: CU-Boulder, the University of Denver, Colorado College, Fort Lewis College and Mesa State College, using similar posters and PSA’s, she said.

According to the campaign’s Web site, http://duiwillcostu.com, the number is a total of estimated costs associated with a DUI arrest ranging from legal fees and fines to increases in insurance costs.

The site also features a list of potential consequences of an arrest and a blood alcohol content estimator, where students can calculate their BAC by entering facts such as their weight and the number of drinks they have consumed./

University Counseling Director Pam McCracken said this campaign will be far from the first DUI outreach directed at CSU students, citing the university’s “Safe 89” campaign and RamRide as examples of CSU’s push to prevent student drunk driving.

“I think it’s an issue that will always be at the forefront,” she said.

The CDOT campaign comes on the heels of the state’s recent DUI crackdown, which put more DUI enforcement officers on Colorado streets from Aug. 21 to Labor Day. Officers conducted over 1,500 DUI arrests over that period, Halpape said.

Senior Reporter Matt Minich can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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