Green beer and driving don’t mix: St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement begins tomorrow

News Release

March 12, 2020 - Statewide Traffic Safety -  336 impaired drivers arrested last year

STATEWIDE — St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are right around the corner, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up to keep impaired drivers off the road throughout the holiday weekend.

Starting March 13 through March 18, CDOT, CSP and law enforcement agencies across the state will increase DUI patrols and enforcement for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. 

A social media campaign will help alert drivers about the enforcement period. Sample posts will include:

Celebrate responsibly - The Heat is On graphic

Making plans for St. Patrick’s Day weekend? If you’re celebrating, also make plans for a sober driver! Increased DUI enforcement begins Friday. #TheHeatIsOn

During last year’s four-day The Heat Is On St. Patrick’s Day enforcement period, 336 impaired drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.

The legal blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit in Colorado is 0.05 percent for driving while ability impaired (DWAI) and 0.08 percent for driving under the influence (DUI). First-time DUI offenders can be punished with up to one year in jail, license suspension and thousands of dollars in fines.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday associated with alcohol consumption. We want Coloradans to be safe, and make the smart choice to never drive impaired,” said Matthew Packard, chief of the CSP. “No matter how you choose to celebrate, make the safe choice and plan a sober ride home.”

CDOT’s The Heat Is On DUI-prevention campaign supports CDOT’s Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to reduce traffic injuries and deaths.



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 16 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. Find more details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips at



In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.


CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.