Motorists Warned To Arrange Sober Driver Before Cinco de Mayo Partying      Popular holiday falling on a Friday could make for an increase in risky behavior

(ATLANTA) The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety joins all state and local law enforcement officers in reminding drivers to not get behind the wheel if they are planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, which falls on a Friday this year.   Georgia law enforcement has zero tolerance for drunk drivers and anyone found to be over the state limit of a .08 BAC will be taken to jail. No warnings, no excuses. Drunk driving has become a deadly tradition of Cinco de Mayo, more so than Mexican food, margaritas and fiestas. In fact, 40 people were killed nationwide during the Cinco de Mayo holiday in 2015. From 2011 to 2015, a total of 270 people were killed in drunk driving crashes during the holiday. Year-round, nearly 30 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide in 2015 were alcohol-related. “We want everyone to have a fun celebration, but we don’t want anyone to go from being the life of the party to a death on the highway,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “If adults 21 and older make the decision to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by drinking alcohol, they need to make the smart decision to not get behind the wheel if they are legally too impaired to drive.” But in the rush of party preparations, it’s easy to forget the most important element of all: designating a sober driver. You can’t leave it to chance and wait until after the party has started to decide whether it will be okay to drive. By that point, it could be too late. Going out for a night of drinking without a plan for getting home safely is a recipe for disaster. In Georgia, partygoers are encouraged to download the Drive Sober, Georgia smartphone app ahead of time. The app provides a list of sober ride programs throughout the state. In addition to downloading the Drive Sober, Georgia app, there are a number of easy ways to ensure you and those around you make it home safe:

  • Decide ahead of time if you are going to drink.
  • If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober.
  • Program taxi numbers into your cell phone or plan ahead to use public transportation.
  • If someone you know is intoxicated, do not let them drive OR walk home.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, call the police.

In addition to the often deadly consequences of not taking one of the above-mentioned precautions, there is a financial impact of impaired driving. The cost of a DUI can reach upwards of $10,000. From jail time, lawyer fees and court costs to lost wages, insurance increases and even a suspended license, the cost of this preventable crime can quickly add up. For more information about Cinco de Mayo enforcement activities in your area, contact your local law enforcement. For more information on GOHS and its impaired driving programs, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org.

Contact: Katie Fallon GOHS Public Information Officer                                                        404-463-0611 (office); 404-309-7591 (cell) kfallon@gohs.ga.gov

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