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Law enforcement wants those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to ‘know their limit’

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DENVER -- From parades to the pubs, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are in full swing across Colorado this weekend. And if you plan to drink and drive, don’t count on luck to get you home.

The Colorado State Patrol is in the middle of saturation patrols designed to get drunk drivers off the road, and the Colorado Department of Transportation is working to help people “know their limit.”

Last year, more than 500 DUI citations were issued during St. Patrick’s Day weekend, but this year, a CDOT campaign is designed to show people how much drinking it takes before someone puts themselves or others at risk.

CDOT used Breathalyzers and a smartphone app named Alcohoot to help show drinkers why St. Patrick’s Day drinking often makes driving an unnecessary a legal risk.

Katie St. Croix was one of four volunteers at Irish Snug who agreed to monitor their blood alcohol content using a Breathalyzer.

"So this is after two beers, " St. Croix said as she registered a 0.96 BAC, which is above the legal limit. “Typically, my limit is like two drinks or two beers, and wait a little while before driving home, so I've been pretty shocked by my results."

St. Croix and her friends each agreed to drink one alcoholic drink every half hour, monitoring their BAC as they went.

After the second drink, St. Croix and her friend Tamara Buniger were above the legal limit.

"It’s been one hour. I can't drive," Buniger said.

"We've all heard the slogan, 'Don't drink and drive,'” CDOT spokesman Sam Cole said. “But now we're actually giving people some tools to not do that."

CDOT also offered other drinkers the opportunity to use Alcohoot, which also acts as a type of Breathalyzer.

They also conducted sobriety tests on volunteers and handed out information on DUIs, DWAIs and the costs associated with them.

Paul Ward was one of the volunteers who spent two hours monitoring his drinking. Though it made for a different kind of St. Patrick’s Day celebration, he said he was happy to do it.

"If it makes one person not drive drunk then it's totally worth it for sure," Ward said.

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