Police agencies in Napa County are planning additional DUI patrols this weekend in connection with Cinco de Mayo.
“With Cinco de Mayo celebrations on the rise across the country, alcohol-impaired crashes, injuries and fatalities will also rise,” said Sergeant Brian Campagna of the Napa Police Department. “But buzzed driving is drunk driving, and is never safe or acceptable. So folks should plan ahead now to avoid the temptation on the big day.”
From 2007 to 2011, 38 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that occurred each year around May 5 involved impaired drivers or motorcycle operators with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 and above, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During the 2011 Cinco de Mayo holiday, 80 percent of the alcohol impaired fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with nearly twice the legal limit, showing a BAC of .15.
Death or injury are not the only consequences from impaired driving, Campagna said in a news release. 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.
“You should always designate a sober driver before the party begins,” said Campagna. “But, if you don't plan ahead, and you've been drinking, do not get behind the wheel. There are plenty of other alternatives that will keep you and others safe and out of trouble.”