News

Increased DUI Enforcement for St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

March 13, 2015 - Traffic Safety - “Drink, Don’t Drive” … and Take a Walk Down the Green Carpet!

STATEWIDE — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is rolling out the green carpet, celebrating those who “Drink & Don’t Drive” this St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend, bringing increased awareness to the heightened DUI enforcement from Friday, March 13 to Wednesday, March 18.

Aiming to keep roads safe and reduce the number of DUIs in Colorado over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, CDOT has partnered with Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to educate citizens on impaired driving, and is urging all celebrators to designate a sober driver or plan on using alternative travel options. Law enforcement will noticeably increase the number of DUI patrols on the roadway to ensure the safety of all Coloradans.

 “For the last two years, the number of impaired driving arrests during the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement has stayed relatively consistent, with 486 reported arrests in 2013 and 484 in 2014,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We’re thankful the numbers aren’t increasing, and we will continue our efforts to reduce injury and fatal crashes as a result of impaired driving.”

CDOT representatives will be stationed at The Abbey Tavern, 5151 E. Colfax Ave., in Denver from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, with their take on the Hollywood red carpet – the St. Patrick’s Day Green Carpet. Complete with faux paparazzi and reporters, CDOT will treat responsible patrons like celebrities, walking them down the green carpet and providing a souvenir photograph, Uber ride vouchers and more. The Abbey Tavern will host an all-day event along with CDOT’s Green Carpet, including live bands and other activities to enjoy. CDOT has partnered with Uber for the holiday, providing new users with a unique event promo code to receive their first free ride up to $20.

Beyond a presence at The Abbey Tavern, CDOT is distributing The Heat Is On posters and coasters to bars throughout the state for the holiday enforcement. The posters have the message “Embrace Your 24-Hour Irish Heritage, Drink & Don’t Drive Yourself Home This St. Patrick’s Day,” while the coasters proclaim, “Cheers to St. Paddy. Get yourself a cabby. Drink & Don’t Drive.”

“There is never a reason to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety.  “There are so many options to get you home safely, such as cabs, public transit and rideshare services. If the safety factor doesn’t convince you to not drive impaired, then know that law enforcement agencies will be out in full force. If you’re driving impaired, they will find and arrest you, and then you’ll face the consequences of a DUI.”

This year, several discount opportunities for car services are available for those in the metro area. The state’s NoDUIColorado.org website has partnered with Uber and Yellow Cab. Promotional codes for these metro area services can be found on the website. The codes are redeemable for discounts through both the Uber app and Yellow Cab’s Z-trip app. A list of statewide alternative transportation options, including both taxi services and public transit, can also be found at NoDUIColorado.org.

The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 12 specific high visibility impaired driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. More details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com

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