Steamboat Springs police and Colorado State Patrol officers arrested 12 people on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs this weekend.
The 12 were arrested Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The Routt County Sheriff's Office arrested one person on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police and state patrol officials held a checkpoint Saturday night and Sunday morning at U.S. Highway 40 and Hilltop Parkway, police Sgt. Rich Brown said. They also increased patrols around town.
The officers set up a checkpoint on westbound U.S. 40 from about 10:30 p.m. Saturday to midnight. They spoke with 155 drivers, Brown said.
"We had one arrest for a driver who was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs, and we asked six other people to perform voluntary roadside maneuvers, which they did," he said. "And based on their performances, we didn't believe they were impaired, so those people were released with warnings."
After midnight, they moved to the eastbound side of the road, the side that leads out of town, Brown said. It rained from 12:30 to 2 a.m., and 51 cars went through. The officers found no impaired drivers and didn't ask anyone to do roadside sobriety tests, he said. About 20 officers worked the checkpoints and patrols, Brown said.
One of the police officers received positive feedback Monday from taxi drivers.
He "spoke with a taxi driver who said, 'Thanks for doing the checkpoint. We were so busy; it was one of the biggest nights we had this year,'" Brown said. "It was obvious when we were out on the checkpoint that the taxis were busy. We had them coming through the checkpoint in droves."
State patrol troopers arrested several people through saturation patrols, Sgt. Scott Elliott said.
"Four in one evening was pretty significant, especially for a Sunday night," Elliott said.
Brown said he was pleased with the outcome of the checkpoints.
"We were very happy with the success of this one, and Sgt. Elliott and myself agreed we should do another one sometime this year, sometime this summer," he said.
The police now are in the second week of a "click it or ticket" campaign. They're stopping people who aren't wearing seat belts, Brown said. The police have issued 44 tickets to unbelted people and one ticket to a person who violated the terms of a restricted youth driver's license.