St. Patrick’s Day DUI Enforcement Begins Friday

March 10, 2016 - Traffic Safety - CDOT Invites Irish Snug Patrons to Test Smartphone Breathalyzers.

STATEWIDE — As Colorado residents rummage through closets looking for their St. Patrick’s Day green garb, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies are also preparing for the holiday DUI enforcement period. The St. Patrick’s DayThe Heat Is On enforcement period is set to begin Friday, March 11, and runs until Friday, March 18. Statewide, 87 law enforcement agencies will participate in the DUI crackdown.

On Saturday, March 12, representatives from CDOT will be at The Irish Snug, an Irish pub located in Capitol Hill on Colfax Ave. CDOT will allow bar patrons to test personal smartphone breathalyzers and will also demonstrate how the same amount of alcohol may impact people differently. Patrons will also be reminded of the Driving Under the Influence (DUI) limit of .08 percent BAC, Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) limit of .05 percent BAC, and the dangers of impaired driving.

“Factors such as body weight, gender, hydration, the number of drinks and rate of consumption will all contribute to a person’s BAC,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “We hope that through direct interactions with drinkers and personalized tools such as smartphone breathalyzers, drinkers will make educated decisions and think twice before driving impaired.”

Last year, 505 motorists were arrested for DUI in Colorado during the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement window — a nearly 14 percent increase from the previous year’s enforcement period. In 2015, March ranked third in statewide suspected impairment fatalities with 20, trailing August (23) and September (24).

“The increase in DUI arrests during the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement last year was troubling,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We strongly encourage people to plan ahead and make critical decisions before drinking. By taking alternative transportation to your destination, you can eliminate the risk of driving after drinking.”

The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. 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