Police stepping up DUI enforcement | SteamboatToday.com

Police stepping up DUI enforcement

— Beginning Friday, Colorado police are ramping up their DUI enforcement to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day.

Steamboat Springs Police Department Sgt. Rich Brown said the department has received grant money from the state to pay officers for 20 hours of overtime. During that time, the officers will be looking specifically for drunk drivers.

A shift will be on duty Saturday at the mountain area, and officers have signed up for two more shifts Tuesday, which is St. Patrick’s Day.

It can be a busy day for police as people celebrate the holiday.

Brown said Steamboat Ski Area has again asked the department to have officers on the mountain. The ski area has a program where in exchange for skiing in uniform on their own time on the mountain, the officers get a free pass.

Additional Colorado State Patrol troopers will also be on the streets through Wednesday looking for drunk drivers.

According to a news release, the number of impaired driving arrests are consistent during the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement period. There were 486 arrests in the state in 2013 and 484 in 2014.

“We’re thankful the numbers aren’t increasing, and we will continue our efforts to reduce injury and fatal crashes as a result of impaired driving,” CSP Col. Scott Hernandez said in the news release.

The increased enforcement is part of the state’s “The Heat Is On” campaign, which runs throughout the year with 12 specific high visibility impaired driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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