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Cinco de Mayo is gaining popularity as a holiday in many regions throughout the US. In some areas, it ranks up there with St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve when it comes to the occasion’s heavy alcohol use.

While you may still choose to celebrate this festive time with friends in a drinking environment, everyone’s priority should be to make it a safe holiday. Always remember that nobody should get behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol, even after just one drink. Read on to find out about six tips on how to avoid drunk driving on Cinco de Mayo.

1. Don’t drink if you’re underage

If you’re below the drinking age in your state, don’t go out and drink on Cinco de Mayo. Even if you don’t get behind the wheel of a car, you’ll be breaking the law, and the penalties are stiff. Here are some safe alternatives for celebrating Cinco de Mayo:

  • Stay home with a bunch of your friends and host an alcohol-free Cinco de Mayo party. Decorate the place with the colors of the holiday, prepare or order your favorite Mexican food, and celebrate with virgin Margaritas and other novelty non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Contact local community centers, clubs, and churches to see what alcohol-free activities they have planned for young people in your community.
  • Volunteer to work at a local family-centered event. Just have fun eating, playing games, and interacting with people.

2. Appoint a designated driver when you’re out drinking

This means the individual selected for this role will not have any alcohol during the festivities. As an extra measure, they should avoid drinking the entire day to ensure that no alcohol will be detected in their system if they happen to be stopped by the police. And your driver will be sober and aware when taking you and your friends home.

3. Have a cab company pick you up

During celebrations that include heavy drinking, like Cinco de Mayo and New Year’s Eve, some cab companies offer specific services to drive people home. Some may suggest or even require that you reserve your ride home beforehand during the busy holiday season, so plan ahead to avoid drunk driving. Keep a list of cab companies, friends, and family members you can call in case your first option doesn’t work out.

4.  Be a responsible host

If you’re hosting your own Cinco de Mayo party, take proactive steps to keep your guests from driving home drunk. Have one or more designated drivers ready to give someone a ride. If feasible, plan for friends to stay overnight if you know they are going to be drinking. And if you see that an intoxicated guest is about to get behind the wheel of their car, take their keys.

Remember that their temporary embarrassment is nothing compared to dealing with a DUI/DWI, the expense of an IID (ignition interlock device), or the aftermath of a tragic accident. Here are some additional ways on how to stop your friends from drinking and driving.

5. Report drunk driving

If you see indications of drunk driving while you’re out on the road, or if you see an intoxicated individual getting behind the wheel of a car, report them. Also, drive defensively and be ready for any unexpected response from other drivers.

6. Publicize safety in your community

Lastly, whether you’re planning an event, or just wanting to promote a safe Cinco de Mayo in your community, spread the word on how to avoid drunk driving. This US Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Marketing website provides lots of graphics, images, and other content you can use to educate the members of your community when it comes to not drinking and driving during Cinco de Mayo.

Draeger provides reliable, discreet, and easy to use ignition interlock devices, also known as in-car breathalyzers or breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIIDs). If you are looking for an ignition interlock provider, please contact us.

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop, and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in, any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.