481 Arrested for DUI Over St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

March 25, 2013 - Traffic Safety - Those Who Pushed Their Luck Are Facing Serious Consequences.

STATEWIDE—The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Heat Is On campaign spread the important message for revelers to designate a sober driver over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, with many heeding that call. Even so, 481 Coloradans were arrested for DUI over the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement period, which ran from March 15 to March 18, 2013. During that same period, there were no fatalities in traffic crashes. Arrests are up from last year, when there were 424 DUI arrests. The number of alcohol-related fatalities dropped significantly to zero from four in 2012.

CDOT partnered with Colorado State Patrol (CSP), 106 local law enforcement agencies statewide and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) on the Heat is On campaign to emphasize the need to keep roads safe and save lives by designating a driver or taking an alternative route of transportation.

“Through the Heat Is On campaign, CDOT continually looks for new ways to educate and involve the public on making safe choices when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “This year, we developed unique partnerships and strategically placed our messaging and efforts in high visibility areas to reach and engage as many people as possible. I have to say, we were really pleased to find that there were no fatalities in traffic crashes over the holiday weekend.”

The Heat Is On took advantage of educational opportunities throughout Denver, with a focus on the highly trafficked Lower Downtown (LoDo) area. Two banners hung in LoDo, informing Coloradans of the $10,000 cost of a DUI when compared to the average $3.75 RTD bus or light rail ticket, or the typical $22.25 cab fare in the Denver metro area.Heat Is On activities in LoDo also included the distribution of $10 cab vouchers sponsored by Miller Coors for those who had too much to drink, DazBog Coffee gift cards to reward designated drivers and blood alcohol concentration cards to provide more general information on drinking and driving.

“Law enforcement was out on the roads doing our best to keep people safe,” Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Those who foolishly decided to put themselves and others at risk by drinking and driving are now facing serious and expensive consequences.”

The Heat Is On runs year-round with 12 specific DUI enforcement periods. More details about the Heat Is On, DUI enforcement plans or arrest results can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.