Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner in Georgia. Atlanta will be bustling with festivities. Cantinas and taquerias across Forsyth county and greater Georgia will be open for business to celebrate this ‘imported' holiday, serving obligatory margaritas, Tecate, Dos Equis, Tequila Sunrises and Patron shots. Coming off family-fun-oriented Easter weekend (often an alcohol-free holiday, unlike its predecessor St. Patty's Day), many are eager to cut loose on Cinco de Mayo, which falls on a Friday this year. Cafe Circa in Atlanta will be having an aptly themed “Hangover Party.” If you plan to drink on the holiday, please take safety precautions. Designate a driver, call an Uber and Lyft and do not get behind the wheel. Law enforcement anticipates an uptick in drunk driving cases over the Cinco de Mayo holiday period, which could stretch all weekend. With police departments alert and wary of the issue, heavier enforcement and reinforced DUI patrol is almost a guarantee.
Traffic Safety Marketing, which operates under the US Department of Transportation, has created a marketing campaign geared toward dissuading drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking on Cinco de Mayo. They have holiday-specific campaigns for St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July, Halloween and the Super Bowl as well. One of the ads cheekily reads “Call a taxi before you fall into the guacamole dip.” They also have the customary tagline, “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,” translated into Spanish for the campaign.
The Governor's Office of Highway Safety enforces a zero tolerance policy toward drivers found with a BAC of .08 or more. The 2014 statistic for Cinco de Mayo deaths nationwide sat at 343, 34% of which were related to drunk driving. GOHS director Harris Blackwood told the Atlanta Journal Constitution last year, “You will be looking at jail time, the loss of your license, higher insurance rates and potentially dozens of other consequences that add up to expenses up to $10,000. Would you rather pay for a taxi home or a DUI?” They went on to recommend the Drive Sober app to Georgia drivers over the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
Although there has been no formal release Law enforcement may set up DUI checkpoints around areas where DUIs or other traffic violations are known to occur. They may also station themselves in areas close to Cinco de Mayo celebration hotspots. Above all, be aware of an alert police presence, ready to arrest Cinco de Mayo revelers who may have had one too many tequila shots. If you find yourself arrested for DUI on Cinco de Mayo, contact Cobb County DUI Attorney Richard Lawson to immediately review your case. Have a safe Cinco de Mayo!