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Colorado’s St. Pat’s DUI Enforcement Period Begins

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drunk driving

CDOT holds 12 special DUI enforcement periods during the year, focused on special events and holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day.

Today (March 12) bar patrons at The Irish Snug,  a pub on Colfax Avenue in Denver’s Capitol Hill, will be invited to test personal smartphone breathalyzers, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The event is part of the CDOT’s St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement period. The aim is to show St. Patty’s Day celebrants and others how individuals are affected differently by the same amount of alcohol.

Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety, said that a person’s BAC is determined by a variety of factors, including his or her body weight, gender, and hydration level, as well as how many drinks he or she has had, and the rate of consumption. He said:

 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.

In addition, CDOT representatives will remind The Irish Snug patrons that Colorado’s DUI limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08, and that .05 percent is the DWAI limit, Mallory Davis wrote for KUSA.

The Heat Is On

CDOT's The Heat is On

The state’s St. Patrick’s Day “The Heat Is On” DUI enforcement period will run through Friday, March 18. Throughout the state, there will be 87 law enforcement agencies participating in the DUI crackdown. According to CDOT, last year officers arrested 505 drivers for DUI during that year’s St. Patrick’s Day enforcement window, an increase of almost 14% over the previous year.

In 2015, the month of March ranked third in statewide suspected impairment deaths, with 20 fatalities. The months of September (with 24 deaths) and August (with 23) 2015, ranked first and second. Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said the increase in DUI arrests during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day enforcement period was troubling.

Transportation officials and safety advocates urge people to plan ahead before drinking, especially when it comes to critical decisions about arranging for alternate means of transportation, Hernandez said. That way “you can eliminate the risk of driving after drinking.”

DUI Enforcement Periods

The Heat Is On campaign features 12 high-visibility driving enforcement periods through the year, focused on national holidays and large public events. The enforcement can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and extra law enforcement officers on duty. The campaign is funded by the CDOT Highway Safety Office.

CDOT has a free app for iPhone and Android that makes it easy to determine your BAC and helps you call a cab. The department also recommends ride sharing services, and features $20 coupons for your first Lyft or Uber ride. You can find all of that here.

 Image by Alexander17/123RF.


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