CDOT Partners Address Poly-Consumption for St. Patrick's Day Enforcement Period

Traffic Safety Pulse - March 2019The color green and St. Patrick’s Day go hand-in-hand. But to some people that means drinking green beer or smoking green flower. Therefore, CDOT wanted to make sure that Coloradans know the dangers of consuming both marijuana and alcohol together, and what poly-consumption means for drivers. Partnering with AAA, the Marijuana Industry Group, the City of Denver and Lyft, CDOT worked to address the growing number of poly-consumption DUI citations during the St Patrick's Day weekend enforcement period.

The rate of DUI citations where drivers were found to be both drunk and high has risen 112 percent since 2017, even though the rate of alcohol-only DUI citations has dropped more than 8 percent. In order to combat this increase, CDOT’s The Heat Is On campaign took on a new focus regarding poly-consumption. Adopting the slogan “The Heat Is Green,” the high-visibility St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement involved 103 law enforcement agencies around the state, and looked for both high and drunk drivers alike. The enforcement period lasted the duration of the holiday weekend, and was a no-tolerance time period for DUIs – whether from marijuana, alcohol, or both.

The Heat Is Green campaign also offered a way for Coloradans to get home safely during the weekend. CDOT worked together with MIG, AAA, and Lyft to donate over $13,500 – the average cost of a DUI – to help with rides home for Coloradans enjoying the festivities. The money was used as vouchers for Lyft available to those who pledged to drive substance-free during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. In order to take advantage of this great opportunity, Coloradans were able to visit and sign the pledge online, receiving their voucher code. Additionally, Coloradans met up with CDOT at their pledge car on 17th and Wynkoop Street in downtown Denver on Saturday, March 16 in order to get their code.

Poly-consumption significantly increases the effects of both marijuana and alcohol on the consumer, making it dangerous for them to drive