DENVER — St. Patrick’s Day is a perennially popular event in Denver. Following Saturday’s parade, revelry can be found throughout the city, particularly in Lower Downtown.
Authorities are urging people to be safe while celebrating this weekend. The Colorado Department of Transportation has partnered with AAA, the city of Denver, the Marijuana Industry Group and Lyft to provide free rides.
The groups are offering a total of $13,500 in free Lyft rides this weekend. People can sign up by taking a pledge through the CDOT website. After signing up, Lyft users will receive a $10 credit through their app. The credit can be used anywhere in Colorado until 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
As part of its DUI enforcement, the Denver Police Department is reminding the public that driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or both are all considered impaired driving.
Using alcohol and marijuana together is called poly-consumption. According to the Colorado State Patrol, DUIs involving poly-consumption increased 112 percent in 2018.
“Whether it’s marijuana alcohol or a combination of both, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car,” said DPD spokesperson Doug Schepman.
While there will be plenty of partying around downtown, DPD is stepping up DUI enforcement citywide.
“Don’t think that because you might be away from downtown that you might be able to get away with it,” said Schepman.
Barbara Grandjean, a partner at Husch Blackwell, said getting a DUI sentence has long-term effects beyond financial ramifications.
“The employer is going to care about the example the person is setting in the community and that person should also be concerned that as a licensed professional, you may have to report something like this,” Grandjean said.