CDOT begins St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement with an event at the Colorado Springs Irish Pub – Colorado Department of Transportation


Media Resource Kit for the 2023 St. Patrick’s Day DUI Enforcement Event

El Paso County – The weekend of green beers and cheers is almost here, and responsible Coloradans know not to waste their luck on a DUI. From March 16-21, CDOT, Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and more than 71 law enforcement agencies join forces to enforce St. Patrick’s Day Weekend and urge Colorado residents to incorporate a sober drive into their vacation plans. Reinforced patrols will focus on removing disabled drivers from the roads.

El Paso County had 27 disabled driver fatalities in 2022, a 23 percent increase from the previous year, which had 22 fatalities involving a disabled driver.

CDOT hosted a pop-up event at Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub, one of Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl stops in Colorado Springs, on March 16, sharing $10 in Lyft credit with bar-goers ahead of the holiday. As the ultimate prize, one of the bar-goers was presented with a unique $50 Lyft code. Numerous shamrock-shaped posters have been scattered around the bar and will be hanging throughout the bank holiday weekend with festive safe ride messages and information on how to claim the Lyft code.

“Getting behind the wheel that is affected by any substance puts all road users at risk. Do you have a plan for a sober ride before you leave?” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “The decision to drive restricted does not only affect you. Don’t rely on luck to get out of a DUI or, worse, a fatal accident.”

CDOT continues its partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Lyft and Responsibility.org to offer $10 in Lyft ride credits. The nationwide credits are only valid while supplies last and can be redeemed in the Lyft app until March 23 at 11:59 p.m. with the code SPDSAFE. To apply credit directly from a mobile device online here in the Lyft app. The credits are funded by a CDOT grant received from the GHSA. To date, 833 rideshares nationwide have been used during holiday periods to prevent disruption to driving.

Alcoholic beverages and festive St. Patrick's Day decorations promote enforcement of The Heat Is On, text overlay reads
Alcoholic beverages and festive St Patrick’s Day decorations promoting The Heat Is On enforcement period, text overlay reads “Happy St Patrick’s Day! Rideshare credit available.

In 2023, there have already been 28 fatalities related to driving impairment and 912 arrests for drunk driving during the CDOT enforcement periods alone. The most recent Presidents Week enforcement period ended with 319 DUI arrests. CSP arrested 105 drivers during the enforcement period.

“Make a plan before you go out. With all the resources available today, it really is that simple,” said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “There have been over 600 DUI arrests so far this year, and all of them have been avoidable. Don’t be the reason someone can’t go home to their family this weekend.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37 people were killed in drunk-driving accidents during the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day holiday (4:00 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. March 18). For Coloradans throwing St. Patrick’s Day parties, make sure all guests drive home safe and sober.

For annual data on Colorado disabled driving accidents and fatalities, see codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety/data-analysis/fatal-crash-data. For local law enforcement schedules, see codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal.

About The Heat Is On

The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides resources to Colorado law enforcement agencies for enforcement, education and awareness campaigns among disabled drivers. The ‘Heat Is On’ campaign runs throughout the year, with 16 specific enforcement periods for drivers with restricted vision, centered around national holidays and major public events. Enforcement periods may include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and additional on-duty law enforcement agencies dedicated to enforcing driving bans. Visit HeatIsOnColorado.com for more details on the campaign, including ban enforcement plans, arrests and safety tips. For more information on DUI laws in Colorado, visit NoDUIColorado.org. Visit codot.gov/safety to learn more about CDOT’s commitment to keeping Colorado’s roads safe, including driving ban enforcement goals, arrest dates and safety information.

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