Cinco de Mayo marks the historic triumph of the Mexican army over the French army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza. Within Mexico, the holiday is mainly celebrated in Puebla where the battle occurred, but in the United States, it has become a wider celebration of Latino cultural heritage in numerous cities.
In 2012 – the latest data provided – 198 people lost their lives in crashes around Cinco de Mayo, and almost half of those fatalities (45%) were in drunk-driving crashes. That means that the number of fatalities could have been cut in half if people had just designated sober drivers, according to NHTSA.
AAA Mid-Atlantic recommends the following tips to have a safe and happy Cinco de Mayo:
Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
Before drinking, designate a sober driver for your group and leave your car keys at home.
If you’ve been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
AAA encourages all to Take The Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.
If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local police.