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DUI arrests up 33 percent across state during St. Patrick’s Day enforcement

DENVER — Driving under the influence arrests were up 33 percent across the state during the March 10-20 St. Patrick’s Day “The Heat is On” campaign, the Colorado Department of Transportation said Thursday.

There were 607 arrests of impaired drivers in the state, up from 455 during the same enforcement last year.

“Planning a safe ride is something every person should do before they drink alcohol or consume marijuana,” said Darrell Lingk, the director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “Unfortunately, some people choose to drive impaired despite the serious safety risks and financial and legal consequences.”

First-time offenders can be punished with up to one year in jail, license suspension and several hundred dollars in fines. Penalties are higher for repeat offenders.

CDOT said 83 agencies participated in the enforcement, with the Colorado Springs Police Department having the most arrests, 52. The Denver Police Department reported 43 arrests and the Aurora Police Department had 42 arrests. The Colorado State Patrol said it made 139 arrests.