SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cinco de Mayo has become a deadly holiday due to impaired driving, especially with alcohol. Mixing your drink with driving is dangerous and deadly. Even a few drinks can impair your judgment and increase your risk of getting arrested for driving drunk or worse, causing a crash and killing yourself or someone else. The California Office of Traffic Safety wants to remind everyone to celebrate the holiday with caution. Before the party starts, make a plan for how to get home safely and stay out of jail.
“We know that impaired driving is dangerous, but it is especially dangerous around holidays like this where alcohol is often present and plays a role in celebrations,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “Make smart decisions by planning a designated sober driver before the celebration begins.”
From 2011-2015, 270 people were killed nationally in impaired driving crashes during the Cinco de Mayo holiday period. Over the 2015 Cinco de Mayo holiday period alone, 40 people were killed in impaired driving crashes.
In total, drunk and drugged driving kills more than 10,000 people each year in our country, and those deaths are preventable. This year, the Office of Traffic Safety wants to offer these reminders to help drivers have a safe and memorable Cinco de Mayo celebration:
- Plan your ride ahead of time. Designate a sober driver before the celebration begins. If you’re headed out for the night, treat your designated sober driver to free, non-alcoholic drinks and other perks by downloading the free DDVIP app. You can even call a taxi, Lyft and Uber straight from the app!
- Hosting a party? Visit the OTS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS and click on the DDrink album for delicious, non-alcoholic recipes that you can make at home for all of the designated drivers in attendance.
- See someone impaired attempting to drive? Take the keys or alert their friends to help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.
- Report Drunk Drivers! Call 9-1-1. When calling, be prepared to offer a description of the vehicle, location and direction of travel. You could save a life!
Although alcohol is more prevalent at Cinco de Mayo, in recent years California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The Office of Traffic Safety wants to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.
The consequences of drunk or drugged driving are not only fatal but they’re also expensive. Impaired drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver license, higher insurance rates, and many other unanticipated expenses, including attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. In fact, the average DUI court case costs approximately $10,000.
The California Office of Traffic Safety wants everyone to have a safe and memorable Cinco de Mayo. For the latest traffic safety information from OTS, follow us on Twitter at @OTS_CA or “like” us at www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS. For more information on all OTS efforts, visit www.ots.ca.gov.