Riverside County sheriff’s deputies, Murrieta police officers and other law enforcement officials Saturday will step up patrols to catch Cinco de Mayo celebrants who risk drinking and driving.
In Moreno Valley, the anti-DUI campaign will be conducted between 8 Saturday evening and 3 a.m. Sunday, mostly involving saturation patrols, according to Sgt. Tony Hoxmeier.
Murrieta police Sgt. Sandra O’Donnell said officers there will conduct similar operations to snare intoxicated motorists, but she did not specify a time frame.
“If you choose to drink this Cinco de Mayo, make sure you have a designated sober driver or have arranged another safe way home,” O’Donnell said. “Decide today that you won’t ever drive after drinking or impaired by drugs.”
The California Office of Traffic Safety noted that drug-impaired driving crashes are on the rise.
“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,” the agency stated. “Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on May 5, 2016, about 50 people were killed in alcohol-fueled wrecks nationwide.
Hoxmeier and O’Donnell emphasized that Cinco de Mayo party-goers have the option of calling a cab, using public transit or hailing a private ride service like Lyft or Uber.
A misdemeanor DUI conviction in California can result in fines up to $10,000, jail time and revocation of a driver’s license.