Record Number of Colorado Law Enforcement Agencies plan St. Patrick's Weekend DUI Crackdown

March 13, 2012 - Traffic Safety - DENVER, CO – A record 114 law enforcement agencies and Colorado State Patrol troops have filed plans to crack down on alcohol- and drug-impaired driving over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

The official Heat Is On crackdown begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 16 and continues through 3 a.m. on Monday, March 19.

Safety officials are very concerned about the increasing number of impaired drivers arrested each year over the traditional beer-drinking holiday, and they are especially worried since St Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year.  The last time St. Patrick’s Day was on Saturday was in 2007, when 363 drivers were arrested for DUI statewide.  Since then, there’s been a 48% increase in DUI arrests over St. Patrick’s enforcement periods, with a record 704 arrests in 2011.  Two people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Colorado over the St Patrick’s Day weekend last year, according to preliminary data.

“It is alarming that so many people are risking their lives and their future over a few green beers when it absolutely isn’t necessary,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colorado State Patrol.  “It’s time right now to plan ahead if you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with alcohol. There’s no excuse not to have a designated driver or sober transportation lined up before you ever drink that first pint.  For those who don’t plan ahead, we’ll be ready for you.”

The Denver Police Department will also join agencies across the state with additional officers dedicated to DUI patrols throughout the weekend.  Denver PD’s plans include additional officers at the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday to support parade participants and ensure spectators have a fun and safe time.

“We will have officers designated to the parade route and the downtown area to monitor traffic and provide a safe environment free from the dangers of impaired driving,” said Capt. Joseph Padilla, Denver Police Department.  “We’d like to remind everyone to take safeguards against drinking and driving by taking public transportation or have a designated driver.  The cost of a bus ticket or cab fare is $10,000 cheaper than the cost of a DUI.”

Safety officials also want to remind basketball fans of their responsibility as well. “It’s an exciting time in Colorado with both CU and CSU in the NCAA tournament this week, but it’s important to make the right call by getting a sober ride home if you’re drinking while watching the games,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT.  “Remember that no matter what team you root for -- fans don’t let fans drive drunk.”

The Colorado State Patrol and the following police and sheriffs’ departments have increased patrols and saturations patrols planned:

Adams County SO

Alamosa County SO

Alamosa PD

Arapahoe County SO

Arvada PD

Aspen PD

Ault PD

Auraria Campus PD

Aurora PD

Baca County SO

Basalt PD

Bayfield Marshalls Office

Boulder County SO

Breckenridge PD

Brighton PD

Broomfield PD

Calhan PD

Castle Rock PD

Colorado Springs PD

CSP Troop 1A Limon

CSP Troop 1C Castle Rock

CSP Troop 1D Adams Co.

CSP Troop 2A Canon City

CSP Troop 2B Colo. Spgs.

CSP Troop 2C Lamar

CSP Troop 2D Pueblo

CSP Troop 2E Gaming

CSP Troop 3A Greeley

CSP Troop 3B Sterling

CSP Troop 3C Fort Collins

CSP Troop 4A Fruita

CSP Troop 4B Craig

CSP Troop 4C Glenwood

CSP Troop 5A Durango

CSP Troop 5B Alamosa

CSP Troop 5C Montrose

CSP Troop 6A Golden

CSP Troop 6B Frisco

CSP Troop 6C Broomfield

Colorado State Univ. PD

Commerce City PD

Cortez PD

Craig PD

Crested Butte MO

Dacono PD

Denver PD

Dillon PD

Douglas County SO

Durango PD

Eagle County SO

Edgewater PD

El Paso County SO

Englewood PD

Erie PD

Estes Park PD

Evans PD

Firestone PD

Fort Collins PD

Fort Lupton PD

Fort Morgan PD

Fountain PD

Fraser/Winter Park PD

Frederick PD

Fremont County SO

Frisco PD

Garfield County SO

Gilpin County SO

Glenwood Springs PD

Golden PD

Grand Junction PD

Green Mountain Falls PD

Greenwood Village PD

Haxtun PD

Idaho Springs PD

Jefferson County SO

Johnstown PD

Kiowa County SO

Lafayette PD

Lakewood PD

Lamar PD

Larimer County SO

Littleton PD

Logan County SO

Lone Tree PD

Longmont PD

Loveland PD

Manitou Springs PD

Manzanola PD

Mesa County SO

Minturn PD

Monte Vista PD

Montezuma County SO

Montrose PD

Morgan County SO

Northglenn PD

Pagosa Springs PD

Park County SO

Parker PD

Pitkin County SO

Pueblo County SO

Pueblo PD

Rifle PD

Silverthorne PD

Snowmass Village PD

Steamboat Springs PD

Sterling PD

Summit County SO

Thornton PD

Walsenburg PD

Washington County SO

Weld County SO

Westminster PD

Wheat Ridge PD

Woodland Park PD

To view agency DUI enforcement plans visit and choose “Heat Is On Enforcement Plans” on the quick links.