Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

MCNTV News will post DUI arrests throughout the weekend – Don’t want your mug shot on our page/website? Drink responsibly, live responsibly, and together we can make Merced County a safer place for all.

MERCED, CA – In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become synonymous with festive fiestas and salty margaritas. Historically, the fifth of May commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco‐Mexican War, but present‐day celebrations often lead to drunk driving—and there’s no victory in that. If you are planning to party this   Cinco de Mayo, keep this number in mind: 343 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend in 2014. Of those 343 people who lost their lives, 34 percent (116) died in drunk‐driving crashes. The drivers in those crashes weren’t just a little drunk. Sadly, almost one out of five (17%) of all the drivers in fatal crashes that weekend had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .15 % or higher—almost two times the legal limit in every state.

In the region’s ongoing efforts to stop and arrest impaired drivers, the Avoid the 11 DUI coalition will be deploying extra officers on DUI saturation patrols this Thursday evening to keep communities safe.  Police, sheriff and CHP routine patrols will also remained focused on drivers showing signs of intoxication.

Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, and when you drive drunk, you run the risk of killing yourself or someone else. You will be looking at jail time, the loss of your driver license, higher insurance rates, plus dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car or motorcycle towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. The average DUI costs about $10,000. Wouldn’t you rather pay for a ride home?

Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems.    A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).    Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over‐the‐counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.

A final statistic to remember: drunk or drug impaired driving deaths are 100‐percent preventable.

The Avoid DUI Task Force holiday enforcement campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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