Cinco De Mayo DUIs: Why Is Highway Patrol on High Alert This Year?

by Aaron M. Black • May 03, 2022


For some Arizonans, Cinco de Mayo may be one of the first days one ventures out of their home to feel festive and let loose for a while. With restaurants, bars, and bistros opening their doors again, many are prepared to have a night out to celebrate Mexican culture.


It is no surprise that several party-goers will likely partake in the consumption of alcohol. Certainly, this is a joyful time to celebrate culture, yet there are ways to observe the holiday while staying safe from the dangers of drunk driving. 

Cinco de Mayo Drinks


Let’s go over what Cinco de Mayo is all about and why Cinco de Mayo DUIs are on the rise. So without further ado, let’s dive in! 


Cinco de Mayo Is Much More Than Tequila and Guacamole

Cinco De Mayo Dui

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican troops against the French army in Batalla 

de Puebla in 1862. Oddly enough, although a large number of people in the United States have adopted Cinco de Mayo as a day for drinking alcohol, its roots are not associated with alcohol consumption at all.

Now, here are some quick Cinco de Mayo facts below you may have not known;


Quick Fun Facts About Cinco de Mayo

  • In 2005, Congress declared Cinco de Mayo an official U.S. holiday

  • In the country of Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is known as "El Día de la Batalla de Puebla" (Battle of Puebla)

  • Oftentimes, Cinco de Mayo is inaccurately called Mexico’s Independence Day, but that is a different holiday that falls on September 16

Cinco de Mayo DUI Facts: Not As Fun

  • One-third of the fatal crashes on May 5th involve a drunk driver

  • According to The National Highway and Traffic Safety Association, within the last five years, 270 lives were lost in drunk driving incidents during Cinco de Mayo

Driving Under the Influence

What Is Law Enforcement Doing About Drunk Driving This Year?

The local law enforcement agencies have collaborated with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety as well as the Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa police departments to seriously crackdown on intoxicated drivers and DUI arrests. 


Although popular holidays may bring risks associated with drinking and driving along with the increased patrols for DUI enforcement, we'd like to note that frankly, no time should be an ok time to drink and drive.


What Happens If One Is Caught Intoxicated While Driving?

From a first-time DUI offense to an extreme, super extreme, or aggravated DUI; Arizona tends to enforce the harshest penalties in the country. Penalties can always vary for a first-time offender, but these offenses harbor mandatory prison terms, fines, a suspended license, and usually the installation of an ignition interlock device.


With so many options to get around like calling a cab, Uber, and other public transportation, why risk putting one's self (or others) in a life-altering situation when it can be avoided. Although paying for a cab isn't the cheapest option, a sober ride will have a much more comfortable cost than the medical bills you will receive if an accident happens. 


1st Time Misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence (under .15 BAC)

  • Minimum jail time of 10 days, but 9 may be suspended
  •  There can be a maximum Jail of 6 months
  • $250 Fine
  • $210 Surcharge
  • $500 Prison Fund
  • $500 Public Safety Equipment Fund

    Cinco de Mayo DUIs
  • $20 Time Pay Fee
  • $20 Probation Fee
  • Suspension of driver’s license (90-day)
  • Possible Probation of up to around 5 years
  • Alcohol & Drug Screening and Classes
  • Mandatory community service
  • Jail incarceration payment
  • Usually monthly probation fees
  • Possible SR22 insurance
  • 1-year Ignition interlock



If you are unfortunately facing DUI charges in Phoenix on Cinco de Mayo and need legal help, it is critical to speak with a lawyer experienced in DUI defense immediately. Choosing the right attorney to represent you could mean the difference between a dismissal of the charges against you, a not guilty verdict, and even possibly no penalties at all.


How to Stay Safe this Year

While drunk driving is certainly one of the top-leading killers on America’s roads, here are some helpful tips to get everyone home safe after celebrating. Follow these simple steps to keep safe on Cinco de Mayo:

  • Decide from the beginning if you will drink or if you will drive -- You can only choose one, and the quicker you find out what your plans are before leaving for a gathering the better
  • If you are the designated driver, you have to stay sober. Keep your word, or you may have a higher chance of putting other passengers' life in danger as well
  • If you have been drinking and don't know what to do, use any resources available. Ask a sober friend or even a family member to pick you up and take you home
  • Walking home drunk is not really a safe alternative either. You can receive drunk in public charges and there is also the risk of getting hit by a vehicle due to the lack of attention
  • Always be aware of the drivers around you as well. This is really vital to remember. Unfortunately, whether you are drinking or not, there are other people getting behind the wheel intoxicated, which can cause very unpredictable driving conditions for sober drivers alike. One way you can help keep everyone safe when seeing someone who appears to be driving intoxicated is to call 911 immediately. This action could potentially save many lives.

By staying safe throughout the holiday celebrations, you’ll continue to have a joyful taste of Mexican culture surrounded by loved ones. Driving intoxicated is not worth the losses that can come hand in hand with it-- make smart choices and remember our tips to keep out of trouble.


What If I am Facing DUI Charges?

If you are facing the charges of a Cinco De Mayo DUI, you have undoubtedly come to the right place! We are here to help, proudly guaranteeing the protection of your constitutional rights in the courtroom since 2006.


We have a blog for frequently asked questions and helpful staff ready to speak to you at any time! When your freedom is at risk contact the Law Office of Aaron Black or you can always call 480-729-1683 for a free consultation.

About the Author

Aaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI, and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution, and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.


Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes, and white-collar crime.


After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to theUniversity of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.


After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.


Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state, and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials, and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.


You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education, and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.




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