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Troopers win kudos for blocking impaired drivers


Two Colorado State Patrol troopers based in Grand Junction are being recognized by Colorado Department of Transportation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving as part of the 2023 Law Enforcement Champion awards for the Western Slope and Mountain regions.

Six troopers in total were recognized with awards that focus on efforts to reduce impaired driving, increase the use of seat belts and reduce speeding, according to a CDOT news release.

Trooper Ben Carnes was awarded for Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement. Alicia Bourdon-Goure was awarded Outstanding Victim Advocate. Both are with the Colorado State Patrol in Grand Junction.

Two Montrose troopers were also recognized. Trooper Henry Netherton for Outstanding Individual Dedication to Occupant Protection and Troop 5c for Outstanding Team Dedication to Occupant Protection.

Officer Felipe Gomez with the Glenwood Springs Police Department won Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Local Law Enforcement/ Western Slope. Trooper Derrick Heller with the Colorado State Patrol in Golden won Outstanding Dedication to Underage Drinking Prevention and Enforcement.

“We are ever grateful to the brave men and women in law enforcement who keep our roads and communities safe,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “At CDOT, we take a holistic approach to safety on our transportation system, which includes recognizing the role of public safety officials in keeping impaired drivers off our road, promoting seat belt use and enforcing speed limits.”

Approximately onethird of traffic fatalities involve an impaired driver in Colorado. In addition, most traffic fatalities involve an unbuckled driver or passenger. MADD has worked to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving and support the victims affected.

“So many people will never know the debt that they owe to our law enforcement heroes. Every time they stop a drunk or drugged driver, they potentially save a life,” MADD Colorado State Executive Director Fran Lanzer said. “We’re fortunate to have so many dedicated men and women protecting our communities.”

CDOT provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving and seat belt enforcement campaigns.

The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 15 specific high visibility impaired driving enforcement periods.

More details about impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at HeatIsOnColorado. com.

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