In Colorado, you have the absolute right to report a drunk driver anonymously.
Drunk drivers kill or seriously injure thousands of persons every year. Sadly, Colorado ranks thirteenth in the nation when it comes to overall drunk driving problems including fatalities and arrests for DUI.
If you see someone driving drunk, reporting them to the police can help save lives. It’s up to us as a community to keep these individuals off the road and make sure that all of our loved ones are safe as possible when they’re driving in our wonderful state.
Colorado Drunk Driving Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Between 2003 and 2012, Colorado saw 1,702 people die in crashes involving drunk drivers.
- 1.9% of Colorado adults reported driving after drinking too much in the past 30 days.
- Approximately one in three traffic accident fatalities in the United States involves a drunk driver.
- Men died in drunk driving accidents at a rate of 3.9 per 100,000 people in Colorado. Women who had a rate of 1.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
- The highest rate of death in drunk driving accidents across age demographics were people between the ages of 21 and 34, who died at a rate of 5.6 per 100,000 people in Colorado.
Signs of an Impaired Driver
These days, it’s difficult to tell if a driver is drunk or on his phone. Luckily, the Colorado State Patrol tells us what to look for:
- The driver just looks drunk (e.g. eye fixation, face close to windshield, drinking in the vehicle.)
- Turning with a wide radius
- Almost striking an object or car
- Weaving, swerving or drifting
- Driving significantly under the speed limit for no obvious reason
- Braking erratically or stopping without cause
- Accelerating rapidly
- Straddling the center of the lane or driving with the left tires on the center line
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Driving at night with headlights off
Of course, if you’ve lived in Colorado for any length of time, you know that some of us are terrible drivers. In fact, in a recent survey of 100 cities with the worst drivers, Colorado Springs came in at 55th in the nation; Aurora ranked 68th; and Denver came in at 76th.
We say this because it’s up to you and your best judgment to determine whether a person is a drunk driver or just a Colorado Springs driver.
Reporting a Drunk Driver in Colorado
To report a drunk driver to Colorado authorities, first pull over to a safe place, off the highway.
You can call *CSP to reach the State Patrol; *DUI to reach the drunk driving hotline; or 911, like most of us will do, to reach emergency services.
You are in no way obligated to give your contact information or name to the operator. However, if the police do make an arrest, you will be a key witness if the criminal case goes forward. It’s a personal choice.
In any case, you will need to be able to give dispatch the following information:
- The exact location (road and direction if you have it);
- A description of the vehicle (a license number is key!);
- And the manner in which the vehicle is being driven.
Under no circumstance are you to follow or pursue the vehicle. People are crazy and unpredictable. Your safety comes first.