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Cinco de Mayo has entered the mainstream as a holiday, celebrated with good food and many times, an icy adult beverage. With the holiday falling on a Sunday this year, the potential for more people driving home impaired this weekend after their local fiestas is greater than if the holiday occurred on a weekday.

How could this affect you? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,) during the 2011 Cinco de Mayo holiday (a Thursday that year), 35% of motor vehicle fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 and above. Out of that number, 80% of the alcohol-impaired fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of 0.15 or higher.

Throughout the year, the highest percentage of driving fatalities that are alcohol-involved occurs on a Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. So law enforcement agencies throughout the country are gearing up in anticipation of even higher numbers this weekend.

cinco-de-mayo-arrestPlan Ahead to See Seis de Mayo

Make sure your day of good food, fun, and friends ends safely. NHTSA recommendations include:

  • Making a plan before the festivities begin to ensure you arrive home safely if your celebration includes alcohol, including designating a sober driver.
  • Never getting behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. You don’t need to be at 0.08 BAC to be  judged too impaired to drive. Many states have Driving While Ability Impaired type laws that kick in at .05 BAC. Use public transportation, call a cab or someone who can drive you, or use a local sober ride program.
  • Stopping someone about to drive or ride with an impaired driver. Take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
  • Contacting local law enforcement if you see a drunk driver on the road—you could save a life.

By planning ahead, you can make sure you and others live to see seis de Mayo (even if it is a Monday).

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.

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