‘Heat is on’ during St. Paddy’s Day weekend | PostIndependent.com

‘Heat is on’ during St. Paddy’s Day weekend

Those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend are being warned by local law enforcement agencies not to push their luck by drinking and driving.Headed by the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Department of Transportation, “The Heat Is On!” DUI enforcement campaign will include DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the state.In the Roaring Fork Valley, the Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Silt and Rifle police departments will step up patrol from Friday evening to early Monday morning.”We’ll have some folks out there,” said Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson. “If you’re drinking and driving, don’t count on the luck of the Irish to get you home.”Rifle will also step up its patrol over the weekend.”We’ll definitely have more people out,” said Police Chief Daryl Meisner. “St. Patrick’s Day is typically a high DUI time. We’ll have (increased patrols) at selected times this weekend.””The Heat is On!” campaign is scheduled to run from 6 p.m. on Friday, March 17 through 3 a.m. on Monday, March 20.”With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday night this year, we have great concerns that impaired driving and alcohol-related traffic deaths could increase,” said Tom Norton, CDOT executive director. “Motorists should be prepared for sobriety checkpoints and DUI patrols around the state this weekend,” Norton said.According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the traffic deaths that occurred in 2004 during the evening of St. Patrick’s Day to the early hours of the following morning involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 and higher. Of those fatalities, a vast majority involved drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher.

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