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AAA: Cinco de Mayo holiday is notorious for binge drinking

CHARLOTTE – AAA Carolinas urges those planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo to do so responsibly in an effort to keep motorists and pedestrians safe. While Cinco de Mayo, celebrated on May 5, is filled with cultural festivities, it is also most widely celebrated with alcohol and has become notorious for binge drinking.

“Cinco de Mayo is a day that’s celebrated with festivals and cultural events, but it’s also a day when people consume a ton of tequila, beer and other alcoholic beverages in excess,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “We believe the day ranks right up there as one of the drunkest holidays, behind Thanksgiving Eve, St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve.”

Last year, there were 1,618 crashes in North Carolina over May 5-6 resulting in six fatalities and 772 injuries, according to the NCDOT. South Carolina stats were not available at press time.

For those celebrating Cinco de Mayo, AAA Carolinas offers the following tips:

  • Decide ahead of time whether you will be drinking or driving – you can’t do both.
  • Plan your ride home before the night begins – whether that be designating a sober driver or planning to use a taxi service/ride sharing service.
  • Download a ride-sharing app for convenience. Play around with the app to familiarize yourself with it.
  • Be aware of those around you. If you see someone getting behind the wheel intoxicated, take their keys and assist them in finding a safe ride home.
  • If you are hosting a party with alcohol, be a responsible host. Allow guests to stay the night if need be or find them a safe ride home.
  • Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before your guests go home.
  • If you see a driver on the road who you suspect is impaired, pull over to a safe spot and call 911 – giving police a description of the vehicle.

Motorists are also advised to keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink and may jaywalk and not obey traffic signals. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as coordination and lack of attention puts drunk pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. Bar crawlers are urged to keep an eye out for cars, cross at intersections, and obey walk signals.

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