As people bring out their sombreros and Mariachi guitars in anticipation of the coming Cinco de Mayo weekend, law enforcement is making its own plans.
Beginning on Saturday, May 4, local, county and state police in the South Sound will begin intercepting fiesta-goers who get behind the wheel after too many margaritas or beers.
Local officers will be especially targeting roads that are at high risk for impaired driving crashes in Tacoma and Puyallup. A Mobile Impaired Driving Unit operated by the Washington State Patrol will be set up in Kent to enable officers to transfer the custody of their arrestees to the unit’s troopers so arresting officers can quickly resume their hunt for impaired drivers.
“Although Cinco de Mayo is not widely celebrated in Mexico, it has become an unofficial drinking holiday in the United States. Special pricing on drinks, taco-eating contests, and dance bands galore will draw many to restaurants and bars Saturday night”, said John Cheesman, Chief of the Fircrest Police Department and chairman of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force.
To curb the amount of alcohol drinking drivers might consume, law enforcement and Liquor Control Board officers working with the Home Safe Bar Program will visit bars to remind patrons and servers about the state’s alcohol laws. The officer team in Pierce County will be accompanied by family members whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver.
To avoid being arrested, customers will be encouraged to pick up Click-it-to-ride cards at the participating establishments. The cards can be scanned quickly by smart phone users to dial a local taxi. Cards are available at Azteca, Mazatlan and Taqueria el Rinconsito restaurants.