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2012 Cinco de Mayo DUI Statistics

Cinco de Mayo has become one of America's most popular drinking holidays, with celebrants downing Coronas and Margaritas throughout the country each year. With the holiday falling on a Saturday this year and coinciding with the Kentucky Derby, it seems a sure bet that many people were out celebrating the holiday this year.

However, Tampa Bay area drivers can be proud: DUI arrests and accidents were no higher this Cinco de Mayo than on any other Saturday night this year. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's arrest inquiry website, approximately 25 people were arrested in the county for drinking and driving on May 5th and during the early hours of May 6th. Another 21 were arrested in neighboring Hillsborough County.

Earlier this year, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced more aggressive DUI enforcement in the form of regular DUI checkpoints and “wolf pack” patrols. Wolf pack patrols consist of a special roving task force that will show up in high-traffic areas looking specifically for people driving under the influence, aggressive drivers, and other people committing traffic violations. It could be that the increased enforcement has made people more cautious and less likely to drive while drunk. Access to transportation options that don't require that you get behind the wheel, like the Clearwater Jolley Trolley and the Tampa Party Bus, may also be a factor.

Interestingly, DUI charges that are the result of a DUI checkpoint are the ones most frequently fought in court. The reasons for this include the fact that drivers going through a checkpoint frequently showed none of the erratic driving behavior that would indicate that they were driving under the influence. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, talk to someone in our St. Petersburg DUI Attorneys Office about crafting a defense to preserve your rights and freedom.

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