Cinco de Mayo is a joyful celebration that sweeps the Southland every year, but it’s also a time when many people drive under the influence in Los Angeles.
The holiday is over 150 years old — it was kicked off in 1862, after Mexicans defeated the French in a pivotal skirmish called the Battle of Puebla. But police are still trying to understand the dynamics of “celebratory DUIs” during Cinco de Mayo and other major holidays, including Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Super Bowl Sunday, and Valentine’s Day.
The LA Weekly reports that officers set up diverse patrols throughout the Southland for the holiday. On Friday night, for instance, the Los Angeles Police Department set up checkpoints on Western Avenue and 8th Street. They also set up checkpoints in Koreatown from 8 PM until 2 in the morning, as well as checkpoints in East Hollywood at Vermont and Melrose. Other Friday checkpoints included a 7 PM to 1 AM patrol at Huntington Drive and Popular Avenue in El Sereno and a South Los Angeles checkpoint at Avalon and Manchester Avenue. LAPD ran another checkpoint in Lancaster from 6 PM to 2 AM on Friday.