Oakland Police Department Apologizes for, then Scraps DUI Checkpoints on Cinco de Mayo

POLICE TRAFFIC STOP AT NIGHTThe Oakland Police Department (OPD) recently announced that it would be setting up sobriety checkpoints around the city for Cinco de Mayo because some people celebrate by having a few too many drinks and then get behind the wheel. Police departments all around the country do the same thing around the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays when there is a high incidence of inebriated driving. The reaction from the rest of us who are on the roads on those occasions is “thank you.”

But in Oakland, ensuring that drivers are sober on Cinco de Mayo isn’t a public safety issue; it’s a political issue and an opportunity for professional ethnic agitators to take offense. It’s also an opportunity for Oakland officials beat a hasty retreat in the face of hyper-sensitivity and offer sincere apologies for placing public safety ahead of political correctness.

The OPD’s original announcement, “Fiesta Time or Jail Time,” warned drivers that “In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become synonymous with festive fiestas and salty margaritas. Historically, the fifth of May commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War, but present-day celebrations often lead to drunk driving—and there’s no victory in that.”

This statement ruffled the feathers of a group calling itself Oakland Latinos United, which posted a complaint on its Facebook page. “Oakland Police has posted on their Twitter account there going to put out Extra Patrols for you drunk Mexicans on Cinco de Mayo. How does it feel? As a Mexican Chicano I wonder if OPD will be posting DUI PSAs for every ethnic & culturally based holiday?

In the face of this withering first person singular complaint (“I wonder…”) the OPD issued the following statement:

The Oakland Police Department would like to apologize for the recent press release addressing traffic safety enforcement during the Cinco de Mayo holiday. We acknowledge that the language in the message sent was completely insensitive to the cultural holiday. We have worked extensively to build trust with all our communities and value the amazing cultures that make up the heart of our City. We are taking appropriate steps to insure that this does not happen again. Our intentions were to raise awareness about drunk driving and notify the community of traffic safety during the important holiday. As for every holiday and celebration, we want to remind everyone to celebrate responsibly and safely.

The OPD also took the additional step of canceling the DUI checkpoints. Let’s hope no one pays for this absurdity with their life.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar
    Denise Persons on

    So if someone gets run over by a drunken driver, at the Cinco de Mayo, who plans to send the apology notes for the checkpoints being cancelled? The Oakland Police Dept, the attendees or the drunken drivers?

  2. avatar

    Not sure what is more offensive – the stink made by the Latinos or the police backing off like a bunch of babies.

  3. avatar

    Everyone should know by now that the exquisite sensitivity of foreigners (especially those who are illegally present in our country) is more important to our public officials than the lives of a few Americans. Watching our people killed and maimed by drunken foreigners is, evidently, a small price to pay to ensure that these invaders are made to feel welcome.

  4. avatar
    A Bit of Mexican History on

    Most people don’t know that back in 1912, Hellmann’s mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

    This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

    The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

    The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as ” Sinko de Mayo.”

  5. avatar

    One of the most deadly of acts is driving under the influence of alcohol…and the police department will not enforce the law? When deaths or disablement occur because of a drunk driver, it appears the first to get sued will be the city and police department who allow this to occur. Good luck public, city and police. “They made me do it.”

  6. avatar

    Only God forbid if Police have to put a few worthless fcking Illegal Immigrants in jail for Drunken Driving. Now, to make it FAIR they need to scrap the DUI checkpoints on all the “other” holidays. So as NOT to show discrimination against WHITE people.
    Democrats are all worthless lying, lazy pos morons.

    • avatar

      Well, normal folks are beginning to come around to liberals thinking. We are now calling them immigrants instead of ILLEGAL ALIENS.

  7. avatar

    This is one marketing holiday that I don’t participate in. I also do not frequent hispanic restaurants, this only encourages the importation of illegal alien labor.

  8. avatar
    SecBorders on

    Having lived in the Bay Area for many years, I find it hilarious that anyone would think that setting up sobriety checkpoints on Cinco de Mayo is somehow racially insensitive to Latinos. Most of the people getting drunk on Cinco de Mayo aren’t Latinos but Gringos and people of various other races who view it as just another opportunity to get wasted at a bar and have even never heard of the Battle of Puebla or the Franco-Mexican War, although they may have some vague sense that the holiday has something to do with Hispanics or Mexico.

    Just like most of the people getting wasted on St. Patrick’s day don’t have any Irish ancestry or even know who St. Patrick was or what he did. Too bad such silly political correctness is putting people’s lives in danger, as it does in so many other ways.

    • avatar

      Where in the police statement does it say that the checkpoints are set up for “drunk Mexicans” as that group alleges? It neither says that nor remotely implies it. Lots of people drink on these holidays. This is nonsense.

    • avatar

      I agree. Most of the drinkers aren’t even Latino on Cinco de Mayo. It isn’t even a Mexican holiday. It’s just another reason to get drunk in America.

      It’s a no refusal weekend in DFW, meaning the police will take your blood with or without your agreement if you are suspected of DUI between Thursday and Monday morning. The Oakland PD is a bunch of scared, politically correct, liberal cowards.

  9. avatar
    Freedom1858 on

    “Let’s hope no one pays for this absurdity with their life.”
    I don’t know about that. To my mind, it would be kind of cool if the leaders of Oakland Latinos United were wiped out in a drunken bus crash — but then, I’ve always been a fan of irony.

    • avatar

      Someone will. But fear not, the Illegal will be released back out on the streets to kill again. Democrats VOTED for it. I only pray that THEY become the VICTIMS!