SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies are advising the public to have fun in a safe and responsible way on Cinco de Mayo.

Thirteen law enforcement agencies countywide are deploying extra units to patrol for drunken drivers.

Cinco de Mayo Events

The Avoid the 13 DUI task force will have extra patrols in Milpitas, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Los Altos Hills.

Units will look for drivers weaving out of lanes, making wide turns, failing to go at green lights, driving below the speed limit, and driving aggressively and recklessly, and other signs of intoxicated driving.

In San Jose, extra officers, on motorcycles and some possibly on horses, will patrol downtown as well as the Foothill division in East San Jose starting Thursday and throughout the weekend, police Officer Jose Garcia said.

“We encourage everyone to come and enjoy themselves as long as they are responsible for themselves,” Garcia said. “We will not tolerate anyone that is disorderly or creating a disturbance.”

He said he hopes the increased patrol will deter some of the problems that have plagued the city in the past, such as fights, stabbings, public intoxication, and vandalism of businesses and vehicles.

Cars will be prohibited from parking on Santa Clara Street to allow emergency vehicles to pass through and to prevent traffic hazards, Garcia said. Any vehicle that is found in violation will be towed.

Garcia said in the event that there is a large group of pedestrians in one area, police would close down certain streets and sidewalks and implement a plan to divert the pedestrians to other streets.

He advised people who are planning to drink to come with a designated driver or to arrange for someone to pick them up.

Meanwhile, AAA Northern California was offering free tows to drivers who drink too much while celebrating Cinco de Mayo Thursday.

The free tow, which is valid within 10 miles of the driver’s home, is offered between 6 p.m. Thursday evening and 6 a.m. Friday. Drivers should call (800) AAA-HELP and tell the AAA operator “I need a tipsy tow.”

Additional passengers will be taken to the driver’s home as long as there is room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck, AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said.

AAA was not accepting reservations for the free rides.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (20)
  1. MJ says:

    really…you will get pulled over for driving below the speed limit.

    1. BC says:

      Yes some stupid drunk drivers may go a slow as 30 MPH on the freeway when the posted speed is much higher. We call that a clue at the FBI.

  2. notflippant says:

    yeh, you saw that too.
    – Statistically slow drivers are more prone to accidents. Saying speed is the main factor to crashing is like blamieng gravity for falling.
    Go what ever speed you feel is safe, but if your slowing down traffic- your the problem.

  3. Biker says:

    I say the cops also check to see if people have green cards.

    1. bob says:

      Kinda like a Mexican St. Patty’s Day…Show us yer Green!

  4. Michelle Greenley says:

    There is no such MEXICAN Holiday. This day is a fabrication of the mexicans that have come here to the US…

    1. Mo says:

      I second that, This is not a holiday besides we should celebrate the Fourth of July any way.

  5. Pround Mexican American says:

    Wow!!!!! Racism is alive. I was born here, my parent’s were born. We are Americans. Why doesn’t the racist SJPD beef up patrols during the Sharks Playoffs you have all these “yuppies” driving around and walking around downtown “under the influence.” Are they targeted by SJPD as they target the brown and black population???????

    1. RC says:

      I hate when people try to play the race card.. I’ve grown up in East San Jose my whole life… And the Cops don’t target people just because they are latino… I’m white, I grew up with nothing but Mexicans and was involved in gang activity when I was young.. They targeted me then too.. Now, I’ve completely changed… I’ve had no brushes with the law for over 12 years.. and I am in no way targeted.. The reason they don’t “target” Sharks fans is because they are not out there vandalizing, rioting and stabbing each other… Thats what people do on Cinco de Mayo… Trust me I know.. I was out there doing the same thing every year on Cinco de Mayo… If you really believe people are out there just to celebrate then you are lying to yourself… Its not a race thing… Its people out looking for trouble… Just like everytime San Jose tries to have a celebration… So keep it real… Don’t try to front like its a racial thing…

      1. Pround Mexican American says:

        You are “white”???? I am not referring to the police targeting during this holiday. I am referring to this in general. SJPD has had several complaints for targeting minorities. That’s the honest truth. Not all latinos or blacks celebrate the Cinco de Mayo or any other event by getting wasted, fighting and stabbing one another. I have never done that, my children or any other family member have never been in gangs. So please don’t refer to us as being involved in criminal activity. Didn’t you say you were white? So what do you truly know about the Mexican culture, it has nothing to do with being disrespectful, or involved in criminal activity. I live downtown, am a professional law abiding citizen. And yes, some of the Sharks fan do have to much to drink and get out of hand, just like some people do when they can not handle their liquor. Like I said I live downtown and have seen it.

      2. RC says:

        Its not racial profiling… Its basic math… San Jose is a dominantly hispanic city.. Especially in the downtown and East areas… If there are 75% hispanic families in East San Jose, then there is a 75% more chance that they are going to be arrested or pulled over or whatever… Its numbers , not race…I know that there are many people and families that may go to the celebrations to actually celebrate, but there are many many people that go down there with the intent on fighting, getting overly drunk and causing problems…I can see that you’re someone that gets very defensive.. I never said that ALL gang members are mexican, or that every single person goes to the Cinco celebrations to cause problems.. The fact is that most gang members in San Jose happen to be hispanic… I’m sure it’s because of the number of hispanics that live here…Its just a percentage thing… Thats great that you and your family have never been involved in gangs and don’t cause problems.. I just don’t like when people use “political correctness” to hide the real truth… In this case that it happens to be a fact that most of the problems that occur on Cinco de Mayo and other celebrations in San Jose happen to have alot of hispanic peolpe involved..and thats not racial profiling… thats just math….. Take a look at the murders in San Jose this year… almost all of them have involved a hispanic person… that doesn’t mean all hispanic people are murderers.. its just what it is…I’m not racist at all.. my kids are half mexican… almost everyone of my friends are mexican… You are not involved in this kind of behavior.. nor is your family.. so you shouldn’t take offense…

    2. bob says:

      The reason they target Mexicans is because they can’t control themselves. Look what happens when they think they can get FREE schooling, healthcare and social services, they flood across the border. Viva La Mexico!

  6. anbiethc says:

    Wait a minute, I caught one inaccuracy. I think it should be rewritten as “Units will be seriously looking out for red light runners” and ‘drivers talking and texting messages on cell phones’. There is really no excuse for drivers to engage themselves on risky and bad habits that do cost lives daily. We don’t need to see another innocent drivers, pedestrians and even cyclist make the fatality list due to driver’s inattention while at the wheel. Let this be a warning and a reminder, to drivers… Please turn off your phones, put your phones away, even before starting up the car. Please also learn to fasten your seatbelt before starting up your car and make sure that the doors are closed and locked securely. I don’t want to have to keep reminding you while all of you are old enough to know better!

  7. Apathy says:

    These posts are scary…Yes, you really can be pulled over for going too slow.. A Clue at the FBI???? Well there is an oxymoron. If you are going to slow YOU’RE (or you are) the problem NOT YOUR the problem. Michelle…..Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence day from Spain and WE DO celebrate the fourth of July. Racism?? It’s mostly the white folks that get busted on My Fifth…. and SJPD DOES patrol both INSIDE and OUTSIDE the hockey games; probably cuz a lot of Hispanics go (no, just kidding, I just couldn’t resist). Anbiethc- If you take my phone away, how am I to reply with this witty banter. Seriously, your message is a good one, but the grammar sucks, big-time…and as far as I know we haven’t met and you haven’t reminded me at all!! Thanks for the entertainment guys! It’s been fun

  8. Steven McMichael says:

    Hopefully they have ICE downtown too……. follow the kids home and search the house for the ILLEGALS…. this holiday shows you how DUMB the ILLEGALS are ….. ITS NOT A HOLIDAY IN THE GHETTO COUNTRY to the south so why is it here???? BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THE BRIGHTEST TOOLS IN THE SHED…..

  9. Biker says:

    Looks like the Mexicans got a little too restless last night.

    The cops should of set up green card check points instead of DUI check points.

    1. bob says:

      It’s just not Cinco De Mayo unless your breaking something or fighting and stabbing someone damn it.