May 5th, or Cinco de Mayo, is a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture that is widely recognized throughout the United States. It has become an exciting celebration for many adults but is often linked to an increase in alcohol consumption (especially margaritas) and a higher probability of drunk driving. There are many steps that can be taken to ensure a safe Cinco de Mayo. Like any celebration, it just takes a little bit of planning before the festivities begin.
- Designate a sober driver before your celebration begins. Without pre-planning, you are more likely to get into a sticky situation later in the night with no sober driver available.
- Use ridesharing services such as Uber. Uber often promotes free or discounted rides and other specials during peak drinking holidays. In Austin, TX, if you take an Uber to a specific restaurant, you can enjoy $1 margaritas. Another promotion offers free chips and queso at any Illegal Pete’s location after an Uber is requested between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Enjoy drinks slowly and alternate with glasses of water. If you need to drive, stop drinking completely a few hours before you plan on driving. Make sure you eat plenty of food to help absorb the alcohol faster. If you are hosting a house party, cut off all access to alcohol at least 90 minutes before people leave. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.
- Be mindful of other drivers. Unfortunately, not everybody practices sober driving.
- Take extra caution on your commute home and if you are walking, stay extra alert to drivers around you.
- Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. If you are with somebody that is trying to drive impaired, take their keys away and call them a taxi. No matter what their response is, you are doing them a huge favor and could be saving lives.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 38 percent of traffic fatalities that have occured each year on or around May 5 are alcohol related. With awareness and a plan, we can work together to bring that number down. Cinco de Mayo is a day to enjoy great food, friends, and even margaritas. If done right, it can be a safe, enjoyable holiday.
If you or somebody you know would like more information on how an ignition interlock device from Intoxalock can help guarantee sober driving, please call us today at (833) 623-0200.