St. Patrick’s Day was Busiest Holiday for DUI Caused Crashes in 2023

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LAKEWOOD, Tuesday, March 12, 2024 -- The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Colorado State Patrol are reminding drivers not to press their luck on St. Patrick’s Day this year.

With so many easily available options, don't make the dangerous and illegal choice to drive under the influence. Instead, use a ridesharing app or taxi, public transportation or designated sober driver, and if those aren't available, stay in place overnight.

In 2023, Colorado State Troopers investigated 1,944 crashes involving impaired drivers on this single day.

“Holidays are always a time to gather, many times outside of your home, so it is up to each of us to behave responsibly,” said Col. Mathew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Luck ran out for dozens of drivers last St. Patrick’s Day. This holiday topped the list for our troopers responding to crashes caused by an intoxicated driver.”

In addition to being dangerous and having criminal penalties, driving impaired carries stiff administrative penalties at the DMV that affect how, or even if, offenders can drive.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Driver license will be revoked between nine months to two years,
  • Install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle or the vehicle you drive,
  • Pay a $95 license reinstatement fee,
  • Pay a $25 DUI restoration fee,
  • Provide proof of SR-22 insurance, and
  • Enroll in and complete a required alcohol and drug education and treatment course.

“Impaired driving is a choice; the DMV encourages you to make good driving decisions — drive sober, don’t get in a vehicle with an impaired driver, and pay attention to the road,” DMV Senior Director Electra Bustle said. “These safe driving choices could avoid tragic consequences or other administrative and criminal penalties.”

Driving while impaired increases the risk of a crash because alcohol and drugs affect motor skills, reducing a driver’s reaction time. Impairment can also reduce peripheral vision, decrease concentration and alter a person’s judgment.

“Sadly, one in every three fatal crashes in Colorado includes a driver that was impaired,” Packard said. “Even more sad is that this is entirely preventable. Offer to help a friend or loved one get a sober ride. And, never get in the car with someone you suspect is impaired. Refuse that ride.”

Troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to the top fatal crash factors, including lane violations, impaired driving and speeding, while launching a yearlong campaign called “Drive Safe.” This campaign celebrates positive driving behaviors and encourages all of us to drive like a trooper is riding with you. 

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Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs.  In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more. For additional information, visit us online at Colorado State Patrol or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook.


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