Imperial County’s Avoid the 8 DUI Task Force encourages everyone to plan ahead this Cinco de Mayo and never drink and drive.
Driving under the influence saturation patrols will be deployed this weekend in several cities looking to identify and stop suspected drunken drivers, a press release notes. Also, every routine traffic and patrol officer assigned to duty will be on heightened alert.
From 2007 to 2011, 38 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that occurred each year around May 5 involved impaired vehicle drivers with blood alcohol concentrations over the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During 2011 Cinco de Mayo holiday, 80 percent of the alcohol impaired fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with nearly twice the legal limit, the release notes.
Madueño said people can still enjoy the holiday and celebrations without putting their lives or the lives of other innocent victims on the line. But death or injury are not the only consequences from impaired driving. When caught and arrested, violators often face jail time, loss of their driver’s license and it could cost up to $10,000 in fees, fines, and higher insurance rates.
“When people start celebrating, they often aren’t thinking of how they will get home from the restaurant or a friend’s house, and they don’t realize how much they’ve had to drink and make a bad choice that ends in tragic consequences,” said Madueño adding, “that’s why we are reminding folks to play it safe and plan ahead, designate a sober driver.”