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Newport Beach Police Department
Tuesday May 3rd, 2016 :: 07:41 a.m. PDT


Press Release: Cinco de Mayo DUI Saturation Patrol

Cinco de Mayo: Fiesta Time or Jail Time?

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Historically, the fifth of May commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.  But, for many in the United States, present-day Cinco de Mayo celebrations often lead to drunk driving – and there is no victory in that.  If you are planning to partake in the festivities, keep this number in mind: 343 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Cinco de Mayo weekend in 2014.  Of those, 34% died in drunk-driving crashes, and 17% of all the drivers in fatal crashes that weekend had a blood alcohol concentration of .15% or higher.  That’s almost two times the legal limit.

Do you plan to join the fiesta on May 5th?  If so, be aware that the Newport Beach Police Department has planned a DUI Saturation Patrol and will be deploying officers specifically for the purpose of identifying and stopping impaired drivers.   Additionally, every traffic and patrol officer on duty will be on heightened alert to prevent a senseless tragedy due to alcohol or drugs.

In the excitement of party preparations, it’s easy to forget the most important Cinco de Mayo plan of all: designating a sober driver.  Too many people are lying to themselves about the dangers of drinking and driving. Some fiesta-goers think that they can play it by ear, and wait until after they drink to decide whether or not they’re “okay to drive”.  But by then, it’s too late.

If you don’t designate a sober driver ahead of time, or have a solid plan for how you will get home safely, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, and when you drive drunk, you run the risk of killing yourself or someone else.  Even if you don’t harm anyone, the average DUI costs about $10,000… which far exceeds the cost of a ride home.

Recent statistics also show that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems.  A study of active drivers revealed that more people tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, and showed slightly higher use than alcohol (7.4 percent).  Mixing medication or drugs - legal or illegal - is a dangerous cocktail.  To address this issue, specially-trained drug recognition experts will be checking for drug impairment whenever suspected.

As you make your Cinco de Mayo plans, we would like to point out that the California Office of Traffic Safety is offering a free mobile app – DDVIP – aimed at thanking the sober designated driver with perks and free offers at area bars and restaurants.  And for those without a DD: make a sober ride home your priority; the new SaferRide app from NHTSA makes it easier than ever.

A final statistic to remember: drunk-driving deaths are 100 percent preventable

Funding for this deployment is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who reminders every motorist to Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911!   Remember, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Don’t do it.

Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1

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