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DUI enforcement increases for St. Patrick’s Day

The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will be out in full force to keep impaired motorists off the roads from Friday to Monday, CDOT said on Friday.

“It’s no secret that for many alcohol is a major component of this holiday, but we hope people will plan a sober ride home before they go out and make responsible choices before putting themselves and others in danger,” Darrell Lingk, director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety, said in a news release.

Last year, the Heat Is On effort resulted in 607 arrests for impaired driving. Alcohol, marijuana and other drugs can all cause impairment.

“People need to understand that even a single drink can impair your ability to drive and risk the safety of yourself and others,” State Patrol Col. Matthew Packard said in a news release.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, 39 percent of nationwide motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunken drivers.

Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead for a safe ride home. The cost of a ride home is minimal compared to the cost of a DUI, which can total over $13,500 when considering fines and legal fees.

The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year, with 14 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.

For more information, visit HeatIsOnColorado.com.

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