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Drunk Driving in Colorado - Colorado's Wine Country Ranks Highest

don't drink and drive

DENVER -- Aug. 18, 2014: It's the one contest you don't want to win, and our Colorado's Wine Country tops the Denver area in the "drunkest" category. Statistics published by the Persistent Drunk Driver Committee, a monitoring body formed legislatively (Persistent Drunk Driver Act of 1998), show that the "western slope," also known as Colorado's wine country, had the highest average blood alcohol content (BAC) for DUI arrests in 2013.

Mesa County led the state, with an average BAC of .176, with last year's leaders – Jefferson and Gilpin Counties at .175. The state average was .136 and the statutory level for DUI is set at .08.

Jay Tiftickjian, an attorney who handles DUI and drug offense cases, isn't hopeful that the situation will improve. "Nationwide, DUI arrests have fallen since 2000 – down about 24%," said Tiftickjian, "But the numbers in Colorado seem to have leveled off the last few years." He also points out an expected rise in DUI-D, or "drugged driving" with marijuana now legal for adult use in the state.

"The average BAC gives a different picture than arrest statistics alone, since population and enforcement levels vary by municipality." The per capita arrest rate and number of arrests by county are shown below.

arrest (select to view enlarged photo)

arrests (select to view enlarged photo)