Colorado cops plan St. Patty’s DUI crackdown

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AURORA | A statewide 10-day drunk-driving crackdown aimed at St. Patrick’s Day celebrators is set to start Friday, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The crackdown, which runs from Friday, March 10 to Monday, March 20, covers the weekends before and after the holiday and will include increased police patrols, according to CDOT.

“It’s no secret that for many, alcohol is a major component of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations,” Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety said in a statement. “We hope people plan a sober ride home before they start drinking and use DUI-prevention tools like smartphone breathalyzers and ride sharing apps to make educated decisions.”

During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day DUI crackdown, Colorado police officer arrested 455 people suspected of DUI. CDOT said that was an almost 10-percent drop from 2015.

“The decrease in DUI arrests during last year’s enforcement was promising, but 455 DUI arrests indicates that there are still far too many people driving impaired,” Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in a statement.

Aurora police have racked up DUI arrests during the state’s two most-recent crackdowns around New year’s Eve and the Super Bowl, leading the state in arrests each time.