Drink & Don’t Drive This St. Patrick’s Day

March 14, 2014 - Traffic Safety - Heightened Enforcement Begins Today

STATEWIDE— The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) encourages Coloradans to “Drink & Don’t Drive” as they embrace the Irish heritage over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. CDOT sends out this reminder before heightened DUI enforcement begins tonight at 6 pm and runs through 3 am on Tues., March 18. Through The Heat Is On campaign, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state will work towards removing impaired drivers from Colorado roadways.

To reduce the number of DUIs in Colorado during the March 14-18 St. Patrick’s Day enforcement period, CDOT has partnered with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies to educate citizens on impaired driving and emphasize designating a sober driver or taking an alternate mode of transportation to keep the roads safe over the weekend.

“Last year our law enforcement partners made 486 DUI arrests during St. Patrick’s Day weekend,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “This year we are hoping that more people will make the right choice and designate a sober driver.”

Nearly 90 law enforcement agencies throughout Colorado will participate in the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement event.

“We were pleased to see that there were no fatalities last year during the enforcement period and hope that trend continues this year,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We want everyone to know that you will get caught if you make the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or any other drugs.”

To support the heightened DUI enforcement, CDOT is distributing The Heat Is On campaign information to bars throughout the state, focusing specifically on those with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The posters spread the message “Embrace your 24-hour Irish heritage. Drink & Don’t Drive yourself home this St. Patrick’s Day.”

“By reaching our audience as they partake in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, we are reminding them to make the decision to find a safe way home,” said Amy Ford, CDOT Communications Director. “We also recently launched our ‘Drive High, Get a DUI’ campaign and want to remind those that consume marijuana to also seek alternate transportation if they are partaking.”

The Heat Is On runs the entire year with 12 specific DUI enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large, public events. More details about the DUI enforcement plans and arrest results can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.