Police Watching For Impaired Drivers On Cinco De Mayo

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Police say there are three things that usually come into play when there is a crash during a holiday weekend: speed, seat belts, and drinking. This weekend, many people will be doing their part to keep you safe.

It seems like everyone wants to eat, drink, and be merry May 5th. "Since we're celebrating, we want everybody to celebrate with us. That's what Cinco De Mayo is all about," said Saul Arcate, an employee at Casa Mexicana restaurant.

Part of what makes celebrating so special, are those drink specials, but employees at Casa Mexicana do all they can to make sure things don't get out of hand. "No more than four drinks depending on what the drink is. If it's beer they can have up to four beers. Margaritas are stronger, two margaritas, three margaritas max," said Arcate.

Police are also keeping things safe by heavily patrolling the streets making sure people aren't drinking then driving, especially on a holiday weekend. Johnson City Police Sergeant Scotty Carrier says there's an increase in the probability that there's going to be impaired drivers on the road.

Johnson City Police say in 2011, during the Cinco De Mayo weekend, there were a total of three DUI arrests and 33 crashes. "So you're likelihood of being involved in a crash is going to increase on the city streets however the severity of the crash will have a tendency to increase like on the interstate," added Sergeant Carrier.

Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be ramping up their patrols for 24-hours. "Obviously we're going to go where people are but we can't ignore our rural areas," said Sergeant Paul Mooneyham.

Troopers won't just be on the road, they'll be checking inside bars this weekend too. Sergeant Mooneyham says the simplest way you can keep the roads safe for everyone is to call if you think someone is impaired, "We can't be everywhere and the only way to remove some of these people is when you see that type of activity, call."

News 5 also checked with Bristol Virginia and Tennessee Police -- both say they'll be on high alert this weekend looking for the warning signs of drivers under the influence.

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