From March 11 through 18, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement arrested 396 impaired drivers.
This is down from the 505 who were arrested in 2015.
A total of 79 agencies participated in the increased patrols.
The highest number of arrests made were from the Aurora Police Department with 46 arrests, Denver Police with 44 arrests and Colorado Springs Police with 32 arrests. The Colorado State Patrol made 27 arrests.
“For some, alcohol consumption is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition, but unfortunately, many drivers risked their safety – and the safety of others - and got behind the wheel while impaired during the holiday week,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety, in a press release. “We hope finding a safe and sober ride home becomes a standing tradition in the future for these drivers.”
In addition to the DUI enforcement, CDOT used smartphone breathalyzers to test the blood-alcohol content of volunteers who were drinking at the Irish Snug in Denver. Testers compared the drinkers' BACs to the legal limit of 0.05 percent for a DWAI and 0.08 percent for a DUI. One hundred Irish Snug patrons were tested. They had an average BAC of 0.066 percent. The highest recorded was 0.165 percent and the lowest was 0.038 percent.
CDOT also had four volunteers participate in an "experiment" to show how the same amount of alcohol can affect people differently. The volunteers each drank four of the same alcoholic beverages over two hours. Between each drink, their BAC was calculated using a breathalyzer. After only two drinks, three of the four participants were above the BAC limit to receive a DWAI. Two of the three people, who were women, were over the DUI limit. After all four drinks were consumed, the final BAC results of the four participants were 0.143, 0.141, 0.113 and 0.059 percents. This showed the participants how gender, food intake and body mass affect BAC levels.
The Heat Is On campaign will return from April 9 through May 15 for Spring Events enforcement. The Spring Events patrols arrested 1,870 impaired drivers in 2015.