As New Year’s Eve celebrations near, the Colorado State Patrol and 76 local law enforcement agencies throughout the state have already stepped up efforts to identify and apprehend motorists who are drunk or alcohol-impaired.
Beginning on Saturday and continuing through Thursday, the CSP and those police departments and sheriff’s offices are increasing DUI enforcement in what Amy Ford, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s communications director, said can be “a very dangerous time to be on the roads.”
 During last year’s DUI enforcement period, 501 people were arrested on Colorado roadways for driving while intoxicated, and there were two alcohol-related fatalities.
 Among the area agencies that have announced stepped-up enforcement plans: the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, which is fielding 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. saturation patrols; the Longmont Police Department, which has increased its 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. patrols; the Lafayette Police Department, which is operating 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. saturation patrols; the Dacono Police Department, which is increasing its patrols between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m.; the Erie Police Department, which is increasing its patrols between 8 or 9 p.m. and 1 or 3 a.m. on various nights through Wednesday; the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, which is increasing 8 p.m. through 4 a.m. patrols; and the Estes Park Police Department, which is increasing its 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. patrols.
 “New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the year that’s past and to look forward to the future,” Ford said in a news release. “It marks the beginning of a new year with endless possibilities,” she said, “and we want to do everything we can to keep Coloradans safe.”
 Last year, in the days and nights leading up to and following New Year’s Eve, the DUI arrests made by local law enforcement agencies included: the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, four arrests; the Erie Police Department, two arrests; the Frederick Police Department, one arrest; the Longmont Police Department; four arrests; the Lafayette Police Department, two arrests; the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, 15 arrests; the Loveland Police Department, 10 arrests; and the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, two arrests.
 Throughout 2012, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s “The Heat Is On” DUI enforcement efforts resulted in 9,784 reported arrests during the year, CSP and CDOT officials said. The average blood-alcohol content of the people arrested during 2012 was 0.18, more than twice the legal 0.08 BAC limit.
 “The fewer arrests we make, the happier we are,” said Colorado State Patrol chief Col. Scott Hernandez. “We want those numbers to decrease as the years go by because it means that people are planning ahead and taking safe rides home after drinking.”
 The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout each year, targeting 12 specific DUI enforcement periods during national holidays and large public events. MOre details about the campaign, including DUI enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips, can be found at www.HeatIsOnColorado.com.