The state of Colorado has a reason to celebrate this week after a recent report shows the number of people arrested on charges of driving under the influence has fallen more than 17 percent since 2009.

In fact, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation alcohol-related traffic fatalities declined steadily from 2001 to 2010, marking a positive trend for the first time in more than a decade.

This could be attributed in part to the number of police on the roads, increased enforcement and increased public awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.

“I think people are being more cautious about it,” Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey said. “Through harsher punishments, more DUI checkpoints and the stories in the news, it seems more people are getting the message.”

DUI/DWAI cases in Jefferson County have dropped by 507 since 2009, records show.

The number of DUI/DWAI cases filed in Denver County dropped by more than 1,200 over the past three years.

“People know we are out there and we are looking,” Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez said.

DUI defense attorney Jeremy Rosenthal said changes to the DUI/DWAI law in 2008 may be working to keep people from making bad decisions, but he said many are still unaware of the more severe punishments.