CHEYENNE, Wyo.- In the past week, Cheyenne police have arrested 19 people driving under the influence. Officer Kevin Malatesta says impaired driving is something the Cheyenne Police Department will be looking closely at during the holiday season and something they hope to decrease.
Malatesta said, "Obviously with the holidays being here, impaired driving and weather on top of that, that's definitely a recipe for an accident." He said last year they had 35 DUI arrests in December and a total of 398 during the year.
December and January are the months that have the highest number of accidents, according to Malatesta, but DUI arrests are something CPD says have decreased over the years. Cheyenne police say the number of DUI-related accidents has always been well above 100, but in the last two years, they've seen that number decrease.
It only takes a few drinks to get a blood alcohol content level of .08, and the consequences can be severe. Not only will someone receive a $750 citation on their first and second offense, a $3,000 citation on the third, and a felony following the fourth, but there are also additional costs including a suspended driver's license, higher car insurance, jail time and paying for a towed car. However, the most severe consequence- putting your own life or someone else's in danger.
Malatesta said the best way to avoid a DUI is to think responsibly. He said, "If you're planning to be at a holiday party or you're going to be in an environment where you're going to be drinking, figure out how you're going to get home before you even start." He said simply having a designated driver or taking advantage of public transportation can help make sure everyone gets home safe.