If you drink on Cinco de Mayo, plan a sober ride! Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

(LITTLE ROCK) May 2, 2022 – Cinco de Mayo is a popular day to celebrate Mexican-American culture across the United States. Ensure that you and your friends stay safe while celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year by remembering one important piece of advice: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. If you plan to drink, it’s essential to arrange a sober ride home. Remember: A sober driver is one who hasn’t had any alcohol. To help keep your community safe, Arkansas law enforcement officers are teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving. Even one drink can be one too many.

Drunk driving is the leading killer on America’s roads. According to NHTSA, 10,142 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2019, accounting for nearly one-third of traffic fatalities. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2015 to 2019; one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 52 minutes in 2019. Arkansas law enforcement is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal but also a matter of life and death.

Historically, about one-third of all crashes on May 5 involve a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2019, 47 people died in drunk-driving crashes during Cinco de Mayo, accounting for 38 percent of all traffic deaths, according to NHTSA. The increasing threat of drivers combining both marijuana and alcohol leads to greater impairment and a greater risk of getting into a crash. ​If you’re heading out on Cinco de Mayo, please plan for a non-drinking designated driver. Our simple message is to celebrate with a plan. If you drink, don’t drive.

Whether you are just meeting a few friends after work or attending a Cinco de Mayo party, if you plan on consuming alcohol, never drink and drive while impaired – and never let a friend drive if they show signs of impairment.

If you’re the designated driver, make sure you don’t drink so you can keep that promise of safety to yourself and your passengers. It can be a long night, but people are counting on you, not to mention the other drivers, passengers and pedestrians on the streets. Take the role of designated driver seriously – people are relying on you.

Plan a Sober Ride

Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll be drinking or not. Observe the following tips to ensure you and others stay safe this Cinco de Mayo.

  • Designate a sober driver before going out to celebrate. Eat during the evening; load up on the chips and salsa – not alcohol. It’s never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get to your destination safely. Plan a safe way home before you leave.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1.
  • Do you have a friend who has been drinking and is about to drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
  • Buckle up, always. Your seat belt is your best defense against the drunk driver.
  • Remember on Cinco de Mayo, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

For more information on impaired driving, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDArkansas.org.