Law enforcement plans DUI crackdown for St. Patrick's Day

DENVER - Law enforcement agencies across Colorado are planning to crack down on drunken and impaired driving as people celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of Downtown Denver Saturday for the 54th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Denver Police said it will have extra officers out on the streets looking for drunk drivers.

"St. Patrick's Day is traditionally a holiday where folks do tend to drink," said Doug Schepman, spokesperson with the Denver Police Department. "Our focus is just to make sure we have more officers out on the street looking for drivers that might be impaired.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said the enforcement period is set to begin Friday and will continue until March 18. Statewide, 87 agencies will participate in the DUI crackdown.

Last year, 505 drivers in Colorado were arrested for DUI during the St. Patrick's Day enforcement window, a nearly 14 percent increase from the previous year's enforcement period.

If you want to know if you've had too much to drink, CDOT is encouraging people to download its app called "R-U-Buzzed?"

"Put in your weight, how many drinks you've had over what time period, and it'll estimate your blood alcohol," said Sam Cole, CDOT Communications Manager.

"The Heat Is On" campaign runs throughout the year with 12 increased enforcement periods focused on national holidays and large public events.

The Colorado State Patrol Castle Rock division and the Aurora Police Department will also join in the effort to prevent drunk drivers from endangering others in the roadways for St. Patrick's Day. 

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