In the United States, the Cinco de Mayo holiday is often associated with parties and alcohol. This week, Newport Beach Police Department reminded residents that in the midst of the celebrations, it’s easy to forget the most important plan of all for May 5: Designating a sober driver.
“Too many people are lying to themselves about the dangers of impaired driving,” NBPD spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella wrote in a press release on Tuesday. “Some think that they can play it by ear, and wait until they are heading home to decide whether or not they are ‘Okay to drive.” But by then, it’s too late.”
Police used the message to urge people to designate a sober driver or make plans for alternate transportation before leaving home. Impaired-driving deaths are 100 percent preventable, the message explains.
Local law enforcement, along with officers from other police and sheriff’s departments, and the CHP, will be out in force this weekend, looking for the signs of impaired driving, according to the statement.
On Friday and Saturday between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m., NBPD will deploy officers on special DUI Saturation Patrols specifically for the purpose of identifying and stopping impaired drivers. Additionally, every NBPD traffic and patrol officer on duty will be on heightened alert to prevent a senseless tragedy due to alcohol or drugs.
The alert also explained that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze” and taking prescription drugs or using marijuana is “incredibly impairing,” and can result in a DUI.
Manzella also pointed out in the press release that the California Office of Traffic Safety offers a free mobile app – DDVIP – aimed at thanking sober designated drivers with perks and free offers at area bars and restaurants. App users can also easily request a ride home from Uber or Lyft.