GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — Trooper Dan Chermok of Colorado State Patrol (CSP) in Fruita says he has noticed an increase in consumption of alcoholic beverages. He says, “instead of people going out and having a beer or 2, they’re having 2 or 10.”

Excessive drinking has increased nationally during COVID-19, and research concludes binge drinking has increased 26%. Trooper Chermok adds, “what we’re seeing when people actually do get out is they take the next step a lot farther.” During the Holiday season, CSP says it unfortunately sees a rise in impaired driving crashes, injuries, and even fatalities. Therefore, Colorado State Patrol is placing extra Troopers on the road to curb drunk drivers, and prevent fatal crashes. So, from I-70 to downtown, law enforcement is looking out for weaving within a lane, exceeding the speed limit, or missing a turn signal.

CSP always recommends a designated sober driver. However, if you end up drinking too much it’s is better to pay $10 or so for an Uber or Lyft, than $10,000 or more for a DUI. Plus, for a limited time this holiday season Lyft has a gift to keep you safe. Every Thursday morning in December, Lyft is giving away 200 $10 ride credits on a first come first serve basis.

Drunk driving is even more dangerous with snow on the roads. That’s because the winter weather causes low traction conditions, and alcohol slows down your reaction time. Thereby, Trooper Chermok says, “if you have a few beers in you, and throw a lack of traction on that, you got a crash on your hands.”

In addition, impaired driving resulting in a fatal crash is a felony in Colorado, which will result in prison time.