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Thanksgiving Day is a time for gratitude and happiness each year for legions of Americans, including individuals and families all across Colorado. Such sentiments are implied in its very name.

For some people, though, the annual holiday period becomes horribly marred by personal injuries suffered that owe directly to third-party negligence.

Tragically, this reality is central to the roadway experience for drivers across Colorado in the days surrounding Thanksgiving: many — according to state officials, far too many — motorists are drunk when behind the wheel.

And the consequences of that every year are tragic. Reportedly, at least one Colorado road death involving an inebriated driver occurred last year during the holiday period, with five additional fatalities being noted, as well.

Colorado law enforcers are striving mightily to get the word out to state residents that a spiked police presence will be out on streets and highways during the annual The Heat Is On DUI crackdown. That initiative runs this year from November 17 through November 27 (next Monday).

Will it make a difference?

Relevant numbers strongly suggest that it will. Over the holiday period last year, 522 drivers were arrested on drinking-related charges.

Many of our readers duly focused upon safety might reasonably find that number to be both shocking and appalling. And, indeed, it certainly speaks to what is unquestionably a dire roadway concern.

The stated goal of the Colorado State Patrol during the currently ongoing Heat campaign is “tracking down as many impaired drivers as possible.”

People who drink and drive and consequently expose others to dire harm won’t enjoy hearing that. For legions of responsible motorists, though, those are truly welcome words.