Don't be surprised if you see a cop in your rear-view mirror if you spend Cinco de Mayo cruising select Santa Ana streets.
"In an effort to provide a safe environment and minimize the impact on our local neighborhoods, the Santa Ana Police Department will be deploying extra police personnel to deal with the influx of cruiser activity experienced on Cinco de Mayo (Monday, May 5th)," reads a city advisory.
"In years past, the City of Santa Ana has contended with large crowds, congested roadways, criminal activity, and quality of life issues that affect our residents, businesses and visitors. Therefore, to mitigate these issues, an increased police presence, lane restrictions and road closures will be in effect."
Targeted areas are Bristol Street from 17th Street to Callen's Common, Main Street from 17th Street to Dyer Road, Edinger Avenue from Main Street to Raitt Street and Harbor Boulevard between Westminster Avenue and Edinger Avenue, according to the coppers.
You're warned that these operations may cause traffic delays in those areas.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff's Department announced the "Avoid the 38" DUI Task Force–the 38 refers to the number of participating Orange County law enforcement agencies–will have extra patrols out today looking for Cinco de Mayo imbibers who climb behind wheels.
"Cinco de Mayo has unfortunately become one of the most dangerous days of the year, all because of drunk driving," says Deputy Shane Stewart of the Orange County Sheriff Department's Traffic Bureau in an "Avoid the 38" statement. "We just want everyone to have a safe and happy Cinco de Mayo, by taking a few minutes ahead of time to put a plan together."
The task force passed along these tips:
1. Plan your ride ahead of time: Designate your sober driver before the fiesta begins and consider paying for their food and non-alcoholic drinks; or call a friend or taxi, or use public transportation.
2. Report drunken drivers! "Call 9-1-1. You could save a life."
3. Intervene if necessary: If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
"Avoid the 38" task force says the next countywide anti-DUI deployment will be for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, May 23-26. Funding for these operations comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.