Steamboat Springs Local law enforcement agencies are adding extra patrol officers for the St. Patrick's Day weekend as part of a statewide crackdown on drunken driving.
The Colorado Department of Transportation-sponsored "Heat is On" DUI enforcement period began at 6 p.m. Friday and will continue through 3 a.m. Tuesday. More than 60 law enforcement agencies from across the state will participate, according to a CDOT news release.
The Colorado State Patrol is planning additional DUI patrols throughout the weekend but will not conduct any saturation checkpoints in Routt County, State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said.
The Steamboat Springs Police Department also will have additional officers on duty for DUI patrols each night, Sgt. Dale Coyner said.
Participation in CDOT's "Heat is On" DUI enforcement period is paid for by grants from the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund, Coyner said. LEAF grants are paid for by fees assessed by the state for every DUI conviction.
Last year's three-night St. Patrick's Day weekend enforcement period saw five alcohol-related traffic fatalities and 363 DUI arrests across the state, according to CDOT.
According to arrest records, from March 16 to 18, 2007, six people were arrested in Routt County for driving under the influence and related charges, compared to two the previous weekend.
Law enforcement officials urged St. Patrick's Day revelers to use a designated driver, ride the free city bus and lodging shuttles or call Alpine Taxi.