St. Patrick’s Day has historically drawn people out to celebrate with libations at bars and pubs, with a heavy emphasis on alcohol consumption. This usually leads to numerous stops by law enforcement for suspected drinking and driving. Though we don’t yet have numbers for DUI arrests for St. Patrick’s Day 2017, past celebrations of the holiday suggest that many drivers will likely get more than they bargain for during their St. Paddy’s Day festivities this year.

Colorado St. Patrick’s Day DUI Stats

Every year, Colorado police departments and the state patrol arrest hundreds of drivers over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend and the days leading up to the holiday. Between 2013 and 2016, law enforcement arrested a total of nearly 2000 Colorado motorists during this March holiday period.

2013: The weekend revelries surrounding St. Patrick’s Day 2013 resulted in 486 total DUI arrests.

2014: Though Paddy’s Day fell on a Monday in 2014, celebratory participants started their partying on the prior Friday and kept it up through the Tuesday after the holiday. This led to 471 DUI arrests for drunk or stoned driving over that timeframe. Colorado Springs police (CSPD) netted the third highest number of arrestees at 41, behind’s Denver’s 45 arrests, and 96 arrests by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

2015: Despite a Tuesday holiday, arrests ticked up to 505 in 2015. Once again, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Denver and CSP led in total number of arrests.

2016: Partiers got an early start last year with a Thursday St. Patrick’s Day. The result was 455 statewide alcohol and drug-related arrests on Colorado roadways. This represented a nearly 10 percent decrease from the 2015 DUI arrests. Colorado Springs Police pulled in the third highest number again, with 32 arrests this time. Aurora detained 46 impaired motorists and Denver brought in 44. Surprisingly, the CSP only arrested 27 drivers.

DUI Crackdowns

Colorado law enforcement officials get especially serious about DUI arrests during holidays like St. Patrick’s Day. The Heat is On campaign and the LEAF program by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) actively enforce crackdowns on suspected DUI activity during the holidays and year round. This year’s St. Paddy’s Day enforcement efforts run from March 10 through March 20, with 88 participating agencies. Were you one of the drivers targeted by these efforts?

Now What?

If your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations ended with a DUI arrest, you should be aware of the many legal issues you now face. From serious and costly penalties, to include possible jail time, to the potential severe impact on your home and professional life, a DUI can change everything. To kick things off, you’ll likely be receiving a revocation order soon from the DMV. Acting quickly is imperative. Speak to a knowledgeable Colorado DUI defense attorney like Brian Boal to discuss your case, learn about your rights, and determine your strategy.

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