Colorado DUI Statistics – How High is Your County?

As part of its effort to deter drunk driving and educate the public about DUIs, Colorado’s multi-agency Persistent Drunk Driver Committee has compiled statistics on drinking and driving county by county.  When compared with state population data, The PDD Committee’s information provides a clearer picture of DUI-related behavior across Colorado.

It will come as no surprise to most people that in 2011, the top 10 counties for DUI arrests occurred in the state’s most populous counties.  The sole exception was Mesa County, which is 11th in terms of population (according to 2006 census estimates) but No. 9 in the number of DUI arrests.  (Pueblo County, which is the tenth most populous county, did not make the Top 10 list.)

Likewise, for the most part the least populous counties saw the fewest arrests.  Data from the smallest counties, however, provided interesting comparisons. For example, tiny Costilla County, with only 3,378 residents, had 46 DUI arrests, on a par with counties more than twice its size.  Clear Creek and Gilpin counties have small permanent population bases (9,130 and 5,029 respectively), but racked up DUI arrests of 153 and 129 in 2011, most likely due to gaming and tourism traffic.

The PDD Committee also keeps track of the blood-alcohol levels of those who are arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Ability Impaired.  Although there does not appear to be a pattern in the counties reporting the highest offender BAC levels, the counties reporting the lowest offender BAC levels are all in the southern reaches of the state.

The following statistics are for DUI arrests in 2011:

Top 10 counties for DUI arrests

  1. Denver – 3,123
  2. El Paso – 2,902
  3. Adams – 2,892
  4. Arapahoe – 2,603
  5. Jefferson – 2,023
  6. Weld – 1,334
  7. Larimer – 1,083
  8. Boulder – 1,073
  9. Mesa – 886
  10. Douglas – 847

Counties with the lowest number of DUI arrests

64. San Juan – 0

63. Hinsdale – 2

62. Kiowa – 3

61. Dolores – 4

60. Cheyenne – 5

59. Mineral – 7

58. Sedgwick – 7

57. Jackson 11

56. Phillips 11

55. Crowley – 11

Highest average offender BAC by county

0.171 – Mesa

0.164 – El Paso, Grand and Routt

Lowest average offender BAC by county

0.131 – Baca, Prowers, Kiowa, Cheyenne

0.134 – Conejos, Rio Grande, Mineral, Saguache, Costilla and Alamosa

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