CDOT Partners with AAA, City and County of Denver, MIG and Lyft to provide free sober rides during St. Patricks Day DUI Enforcement

Special to the Surveyor

Whether you plan to enjoy green beer or another type of “green” this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), AAA, the City and County of Denver, the Marijuana Industry Group (MIG) and Lyft are teaming up to provide $13,500 worth of free ride credit to help keep impaired drivers off the road. They are also warning drivers about the dangers of poly-consumption, or using marijuana and alcohol together. DUIs involving poly-consumption increased 112 percent in 2018, according to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

Driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis significantly impacts a person’s ability to drive — but combining the two substances significantly increases impairment, making driving even more dangerous.

Starting March 15 through March 18, CDOT, CSP and over 100 law enforcement agencies across the state will increase DUI patrols and enforcement for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Colorado DUI laws are enforced for all impairing substances, not just alcohol. During last year’s The Heat Is On St. Patrick’s Day enforcement period, 323 impaired drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.

“Coloradans typically celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “However, many people also consume marijuana at the same time, which can significantly affect their level of impairment. If you plan on consuming alcohol, marijuana or any combination of substances, we’re urging people to plan ahead for a sober ride.”

To help Coloradans get around safely and avoid a DUI this weekend, CDOT, AAA, the City and County of Denver, MIG and Lyft are providing $13,500 in free Lyft rides — the average cost of a DUI in Colorado, after considering legal fees and increased insurance costs. Anyone wanting to unlock ride credit (up to $10 per person) can do so by signing The Heat Is Green pledge to not drive impaired:

  • The ride credit is available statewide and can be accessed online at HeatIsOnColorado.com.
  • In-person. Anyone visiting the St. Patrick’s Day parade or festivities in downtown Denver on Saturday are invited to join CDOT at 17th Street and Wynkoop Street to sign The Heat Is Green pledge car and receive a code to redeem their free Lyft ride.

The free ride is valid during The Heat Is On enforcement period from Friday, March 15 through Monday, March 18.

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