From in-home fiestas to Mexican restaurants overflowing with well-intentioned party-goers looking for some good food and good times, Cinco de Mayo has quickly become a nationwide celebration of food, friends and alcohol.
Unfortunately, too often the party ends with alcohol-related crashes, injuries and fatalities when people don’t use good judgment and drive after drinking. To help keep our roadways safe, Regional Medical Center is joining with others across the state and nation to remind people that not only is it illegal to drink and drive, but the consequences can be disastrous, turning a fun celebration into a devastating night.
Reality After the Fiesta:
From 2007 to 2011, 38 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that occurred each year around May 5th involved alcohol-impaired drivers or motorcycle operators with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 and above, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
During the 2011 Cinco de Mayo holiday alone, 35 percent of motor vehicle fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 and above. And unfortunately, 80 percent of the alcohol impaired fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with nearly twice the legal limit of .15.
Whether you are throwing a Cinco de Mayo fiesta, joining friends, family or co-workers at the local Mexican restaurant or attending another celebration, it is important to plan ahead so you don’t put your life, and the lives of other innocent travelers, on the line. Remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
Impaired Driving Has Deadly Consequences:
In 2011, more than 32,000 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States. Of those fatalities, 31 percent involved a driver or motorcycle operator that was alcohol-impaired. Death and injuries are not the only consequences from impaired driving. Violators often face jail time, loss of their driver’s license and it could cost up to $10,000 in legal fees, fines, and result in higher insurance rates.
Plan Ahead to See Seis de Mayo:
If your Cinco de Mayo celebration includes alcohol, make a plan before the festivities begin to ensure you arrive home safely. Designate your sober driver before the party begins. If you’ve been drinking, never get behind the wheel. Use public transportation, call a cab or someone who can drive you. If you know someone who is 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.
For more information, please visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.