Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for the fifth of May) celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Although it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has been embraced by the US as a festive occasion to celebrate Mexican culture, heritage, and cuisine.
Every May 5th, people in Florida and across the country celebrate Cinco de Mayo with parties, folk dancing, regional Mexican dishes, and—of course—tequila.
As with many holiday celebrations, Cinco de Mayo festivities in Florida are often celebrated with a higher volume of alcohol consumption than normal. On Cinco de Mayo and the days leading up to it, the possibility for alcohol-related accidents and injuries rises.
Whatever your plans are this Cinco de Mayo, you should be aware of the risks associated with celebrations and heavy drinking. To ensure your holiday is both enjoyable and injury-free, we’ve included some tips for keeping you and your family safe this Cinco de Mayo.
Choose a designated driver. Every year, thousands of people across the country are arrested for drunk driving on Cinco de Mayo. If you plan on drinking during Cinco de Mayo celebrations, make sure you designate a sober driver, or determine an alternative means of transportation—such as a cab or public transit. Never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking. Not only will you risk getting a DUI, but you’ll put your own life and the lives of others in serious jeopardy.
Eat plenty of tacos… Or chile rellenos. Or guacamole. Or taquitos. Whatever your Mexican dish of choice is, it’s important to eat plenty of food before drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach is a surefire way to become intoxicated faster, and can increase the likelihood of developing alcoholic liver disease and alcoholic dementia.
Don’t stick to margaritas. For every margarita, tequila shot, or Tecate, you consume, you should drink at least one glass of water. By neglecting to drink water while consuming alcohol, you can become severely ill from dehydration. Another bonus? Drinking plenty of water can help minimize your hangover the next day.
Watch out for your amigos. If you notice a friend has been drinking heavily and may be too drunk to drive, take away their keys. Do not let an intoxicated friend out of your sight, and encourage them to drink water.
Wear a sombrero. In Florida, Cinco de Mayo often feels unusually sunny and hot after a long, cool winter and early spring. That’s why it’s very important to protect yourself from sunburn and dehydration with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat (we suggest a sombrero, in honor of the occasion).
Be careful on the roads. Remember, just because you make responsible decisions doesn’t mean that others will. When you are on the road on Cinco de Mayo, drive very carefully and keep an eye out for intoxicated drivers. Potential signs of a drunk driver include:
- Swerving in and out of lanes
- Speeding or driving too slowly
- Erratic stops
- Illegal turns
- Failure to use headlights
- Slow response to traffic signals
Of course, sometimes accidents and injuries occur despite your best efforts to prevent them. If you or a loved one is injured on Cinco de Mayo due to an intoxicated driver or unsafe conditions, contact an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to secure compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other recovery-related costs.
About the Author:
A partner at Lawlor, White & Murphey and a distinguished personal injury lawyer, Ben Murphey tries complex disputes that include civil appeals, maritime and admiralty claims, wrongful death, and labor disputes. Mr. Murphey has been recognized for his excellence in the area of personal injury litigation by being rewarded with a 10/10 Avvo Rating and named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the last four consecutive years (2011-2014). Mr. Murphey regularly tries cases in state and federal courts around the country, being admitted to practice before all Florida courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.