Portsmouth Police bring in extra enforcement for Cinco de Mayo

Posted at 9:18 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 23:20:27-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Similar to New Year's Eve, Cinco de Mayo is another holiday known for drinking.

The Portsmouth Police Department, along with other local law enforcement, are focused on making sure drivers are not impaired. The slick roads from rain plus impaired drivers could be a recipe for disaster, according to an officer with Portsmouth Police.PortsmouthPDRideAlong

There is zero tolerance when it comes to drinking and driving. Portsmouth Police Officer Jeff Harris said they have their eyes extra peeled for drunk drivers during the evening of May 5.

"We do very vigilant, diligent enforcement. Especially surrounding holiday weekends or celebratory days," Harris said.

Even after one margarita or cocktail, getting behind the wheel is not recommended. Portsmouth Police will be conducting saturation patrols, where their sole focus is to catch impaired drivers.

"If they`re coming from the bars or restaurants and they`ve had a little bit too much to drink, that`s what we`re looking for. We`re out focused on the areas where they could be driving," said Officer Harris.

He's hoping those who say "Cheers" or "Salud" will have a designated driver, take a cab or use a ride-sharing service. Harris said the cost for a ride is much less than being convicted of driving under the influence.

"The penalty is, if you`re found guilty, thousands of dollars` worth of fines and lawyers, plus jail time, up to a year in jail, plus the loss of your license," said Officer Harris.

After 14 years in law enforcement, Officer Harris is hoping to be pleasantly surprised Cinco de Mayo evening.

"I`m hoping we don`t have any incidents and people actually do stay off the road and have their designated drivers or other means of transportation."