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Colorado State Patrol stands behind dangerous driving reporting system

Colorado State Patrol stands behind dangerous driving reporting system

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado State Patrol is standing behind the system for its impaired driving reporting line, Star DUI (*384) or Star-CSP (*277).

This comes after a KRDO NewsChannel 13 viewer caught a dangerous driver on camera but was told no officers were available to respond.

Paula Terrones was driving from Colorado Springs to Pueblo on Monday when she noticed the car in front of her swerving on I-25.  Terrones' dad, who was sitting in the passenger's seat, captured the driver on camera, weaving and nearly hitting cars for about 40 minutes.

Terrones said she first called the Colorado Springs Police Department's non-emergency line.  She was told to call Colorado State Patrol's *CSP line.

"She said, 'I'm sorry, there's no officers in that area right now,'" Terrones told KRDO NewsChannel 13.

Colorado State Patrol explained that, unfortunately, they don't have troopers in place at every mile post to respond to every report.

"Is it the perfect way? Absolutely not," Trooper Nate Reid said.  "If we could stop every one of these we would, but unfortunately we just don't have the manpower to do so."

The reported information, including the accused driver's name and license plate number, is stored in a database.  The system has been around since 1998, according to CSP.  After three complaints, the driver gets a warning letter in the mail.  After five complaints, a trooper hand-delivers a warning letter. After six complaints, a trooper hand-delivers a letter and the driver has to re-apply for a driver's license.

"We give a little bit of leeway because we understand people have days where they drive better than other days," Reid said.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 asked if video evidence of dangerous driving -- like the one Terrones captured -- could be used to cite or ticket a driver.  

"The thing about enforcing laws in Colorado is an officer has to observe it," Reid said.  "It would not be used in a criminal investigation unless we need more evidence to convict somebody of something that we observed previously."

Trooper Josh Lewis says it's important for citizens to continue calling the reporting line because its helps catch repeat offenders.

"This program has saved lives," Lewis said.  "We have found drunk drivers. We have stopped aggressive drivers. While we can't get 100% of them, we appreciate all of that information that's collected and we act accordingly."

What do you think of the system? Let us know in the comments section below.

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