Buzzed driving is drunk driving

All drunk-driving deaths are 100-percent preventable

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo responsibly this Saturday. In the United States, the Cinco de Mayo holiday is often associated with parties and alcohol. If you’re celebrating with friends and family this weekend, remember that at the end of the night, you need to have a safe and sober ride home. Police, Sheriff’s deputies and the Cailfornia Highway Patrol will be out in force looking for the signs of impaired driving over the weekend.

In the rush to prepare for a night out, it’s easy to forget the most important Cinco de Mayo plan of all: designating a sober driver. Some may think they can play it by ear and wait until after the party has started to decide whether they’re “okay to drive.” By this point, it’s too late. Going out for a night of drinking without a plan for getting home safely is a recipe for disaster.

Paso Robles Police Department will deploy additional officers on special DUI Saturation Patrols specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment during the hours of 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. in areas that have a history of DUI crashes and arrests.

In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. Paso Robles Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, and when you drive impaired, you run the risk of killing yourself or someone else. You will be looking at jail time, the loss of yourmdriver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car or motorcycle towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. The average DUI costs about $10,000. Wouldn’t you rather pay for a ride home?

Drunk driving is claiming too many lives. On average in 2016, someone was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes. On Cinco de Mayo weekend, that equaled 51 lives lost in drunk-driving crashes in the nation. So, if you choose to drink this Cinco de Mayo, make sure you have a designated sober driver or have arranged another safe way home. Decide today that you won’t ever drive after drinking or impaired by drugs. If you know someone who is about to drive buzzed or ‘high’, step in and help. Take their keys and help them make arrangements to get home safely.

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving facts

  • In the United States, the Cinco de Mayo holiday has become synonymous with drinking and parties. Historically, the fifth of May commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Unfortunately, there’s no victory when partygoers drink and drive.
  • The Cinco de Mayo holiday period (from 6 p.m. May 4 to 5:59 a.m. May 6) is especially deadly on our nation’s roads, with almost one-third (28 percent) of all crash fatalities from 2012-2016 involving a drunk driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In fact, from 2012-2016, there were 305 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Cinco de Mayo holiday period, with 51 people killed in 2016 alone.
  • In 2016, there were 257 crash fatalities during the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend. Approximately one out of three people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related crashes. According to the stats, 78 people could be alive today if everyone had just designated sober drivers that weekend.
  • Over the 2016 Cinco de Mayo holiday period, almost one-fourth (20 percent) of drivers in fatal crashes had BACs of .15 or higher—that’s almost twice the legal limit.
  • The number of fatalities from alcohol-impaired crashes over the Cinco de Mayo holiday period has steadily decreased over the past five years. Continue to keep this trend going in the right direction – always designate a sober driver.
  • In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. Paso Robles supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

Tips to get home safely

In the rush of party preparations and getting ready for a night out, it’s easy to forget the most important plan of all: designating a sober driver. Going out for a night of drinking without a plan for getting home safely is a recipe for disaster. Before the party begins, designate a trusted and sober driver, and follow these tips:

  • If you are planning on drinking, leave your car keys at home.
  • Know how you’re getting home before you start drinking.
  • Save the phone numbers of local taxi companies in your phone.
  • There are many other ways to ensure a safe ride home besides relying on a friend. The OTS DDVIP app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. The app offers enhanced features, allowing users to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Additionally, the app users can easily order a sober ride from Uber or Lyft.
  • If you can’t find a safe ride or you choose to walk home, remember that walking impaired can be dangerous, too. Find a sober friend to walk you home.

Things you can do

  • The most important thing to remember is that it’s never okay to drive impaired. Once you’ve started drinking, your ability to decide whether you’re safe to drive has been compromised. You may have only had one drink, but that drink may have left you buzzed.
  • If you’re the designated driver, enjoy non-alcoholic drinks this Cinco de Mayo.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 when it is safe to do so. You could save a life.
  • If you know people who are about to drive or ride with someone who is impaired, help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. If a friend is drunk and wants to drive, intervene and take the keys away if you have to.

This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and remember:  Report Drunk Drivers, call 911.