Denver’s worst holiday weekend for DUIs isn’t New Year’s Eve

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Cars drive down Federal Boulevard. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Cars drive down Federal Boulevard. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

There are a lot of resources to avoid drinking and driving on New Year’s Eve. And yet this chart of the week shows that quite a few people manage to not use those resources.

First, consider the fact that there have been at least 30 accidents in Denver between 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day over the last five years.

On average, there have been 39.2 traffic accidents for the past five years.

On average, there have been 39.2 traffic accidents for the past five years.

Of those accidents, 7 percent are listed as related to driving under the influence or driving under the influence of drugs. But that doesn’t include all of the people who are cited for driving while intoxicated. For that, we turn to information kept in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s DUI enforcement database:

No data was available for 2014.

No data was available for 2014.

On average, there were 42 drunk driving arrests during New Year’s Eve weekend over the last five years.

While that’s more than that other cherished Denver holiday, Super Bowl weekend, the number of New Year’s Eve weekend DUI arrests is actually low compared to other holidays (using the last five years of available data).

Memorial Day weekend had the most DUI arrests — closely followed by Fourth of July and Halloween, respectively.

Data for Super Bowl 2015 wasn't available.

Data for Super Bowl 2015 wasn't available.

Anyway, take this as a reminder that, wherever you’re going this weekend, the most important thing is to get there safely.

Methodology: For purposes of comparison, this report utilized holidays with enforcement periods of around four or five days, and never exceeding seven days. That excluded holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving week.

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