Officials: plan a safe ride home May 5

XENIA — Greene County Safe Communities officials are alerting the public about the dangers of drunk driving ahead of the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

Reportedly, during the Cinco de Mayo holiday in 2016 (6 p.m. May 4 to 5:59 a.m. May 6), 257 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. Twenty percent or 51 died in drunk-driving crashes. The drivers of approximately half of those vehicles had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .15 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher, almost two times the legal limit in every state.

“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’s license, higher insurance rates, and 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?” officials wrote in a release.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that drunk-driving crash fatalities are a disturbing Cinco de Mayo trend. From 2012-2016, almost one-third or 28 percent of all traffic crash fatalities during the Cinco de Mayo holiday period, on average, were drunk-driving related.

“We are here to help save lives,” said Jillian Drew, Safe Communities Coordinator and Health Educator for Greene County Public Health. “Around Greene County, we want people to understand that drinking a little is the same as drinking a lot when it comes to getting in your car and driving home. You can’t, and you shouldn’t. Remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

Individuals planning to celebrate the holiday can plan for a sober ride home by downloading NHTSA’s SaferRide app, available on iTunes or through Google Play, and by downloading apps for other ride sharing services, or by saving telephone numbers of family, friends, or taxi services to ensure a safe ride home.

For more information about drunk driving and its consequences, contact Jillian Drew at 937-374-5683 or by email at