No matter where you may reside in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is among the year’s most widely-celebrated holidays. Though holidays such as New Year’s Eve and Christmas are perhaps the most popular in regards to parties and alcohol consumption, the connection between margaritas and other adult beverages on Cinco de Mayo is undeniable. Unfortunately, we tend to see an increase in the number of drunk and impaired drivers on United States roadways on festive holidays, putting the American people at greater risk of being injured in a car accident.
The Truth about Cinco de Mayo
Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day. Rather, it is a celebration of the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In the United States, the holiday is often seen as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.
For the first time since 2007, May 5th falls on a weekend, which likely means Cinco de Mayo celebrations will likely involve even more alcohol use during popular celebratory gatherings. For Seattle attorney Chris Davis, the increased dangers of DUI-related car accidents are always worrisome, particularly during holiday weekends.
“As a personal injury attorney in a large city, I always implore people to make positive choices about getting behind the wheel of a car,” Davis says. “But when festive holidays take place over the weekend, there always seems to be a jump in alcohol-related crashes and, therefore, injuries and deaths.”
As part of the Washington State Patrol’s Target Zero plan, which aims to completely eliminate highway fatalities by 2030, law enforcement agencies will be conducting additional patrols throughout King, Pierce and Snohomish counties during the Cinco de Mayo weekend.
Washington State’s Continued Pursuit of Drunk Drivers
Alcohol-impaired drivers account for approximately 34 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashesin Washington State, which is one of the many contributing factors to the launch of the Target Zero program. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state have reaped the benefits of increased efforts, as Washington State Patrol troopers arrested 43 offenders in a 24-hour period over the 2012 St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
“If you are going to participate in the weekend’s festivities, make sure you do so in a safe manner,” Davis adds. “Being a responsible driver not only ensures your own safety, but also the safety of all the other drivers on the road.”
As a public service to residents of Washington State, Mr. Davis and his team at Davis Law Group offer a number of free resources to car accident victims, including the Washington State Drunk Driving Collision Victim Handbook.
A total of 33 agencies will reportedly participate in the additional DUI patrol efforts, and police will reportedly make visits to local bars to ensure they are not serving alcohol to patrons who are already intoxicated. The full list of participating law enforcement agencies is listed below:
King County: Auburn, Bellevue, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Newcastle, Renton, Redmond, Seattle, Snoqualmie, Washington State Liquor Control Board, Washington State Patrol.
Pierce County: Fife, Fircrest, Lakewood, Pierce County Sheriff, Puyallup, Sumner, Tacoma, University Place, Washington State Patrol.
Snohomish County: Arlington, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Mukilteo, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Tulalip, Washington State Patrol.
What are your plans for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, and what precautionary steps will you take to prevent drunk driving? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment box below.