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Heavy DUI enforcement nets 435 Colorado arrests

Mashed potatoes were eaten, turkeys devoured, football watched and thanks were given over the holiday weekend. Unfortunately, arrests were also made in Colorado over the Thanksgiving holiday, as law enforcement conducted their annual holiday DUI crackdown.

This year, 435 Colorado drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol during Thanksgiving week, including 56 arrests in El Paso County and Teller County. Thirty-six of those arrests were made by the Colorado Springs Police Department.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the State Patrol made six arrests in Colorado Springs and another four in Cripple Creek. The El Paso County Sheriff's department made eight arrests, while Woodland Park and Manitou Springs police officers made a single arrest each.

Last year, 363 DUI arrests were made across the state. This year's total marks an increase of more than 20 percent from 2010.

According to reports, there were five fatalities over the holiday, four of which involved drivers suspected of being under the influence.

"It's unfortunate anytime we have traffic fatalities, but it is especially hard to see during the holiday season," said a Colorado State Patrol spokesperson. "Plan ahead now for your holiday office parties and family gatherings -- designate a sober driver, take public transportation or call a cab. Don't make the mistake these 435 drivers made over Thanksgiving."

Those who were arrested over the Thanksgiving holiday face an array of harsh legal punishments, including loss of their driver's licenses, fines and in some cases, loss of their freedom. They also likely face steep increases in the cost of their automobile insurance coverage.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette: "435 arrested in state for DUI over Thanksgiving weekend," Dec. 2, 2011

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