Local law enforcement agencies in York, Adams and Lancaster Counties have announced that they will be ramping up DUI enforcement efforts over the days leading up to Halloween this year. These counties will be cracking down on drunk driving by conducting sobriety checkpoints and increasing the number of roving DUI patrols on the streets.
The DUI enforcement initiative in Pennsylvania is part of the National Halloween Impaired Driving Mobilization campaign which begins on October 20th and will run through Halloween night on October 31st.
The Dangers Of Drunk Driving On Halloween
Halloween is meant to be a holiday that is filled with fun and enjoyment. However, the increased number of pedestrians walking the roads at night in combination with drivers who decide get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol can quickly lead to a disastrous situation.
A History Of DUI-related Accidents
Unfortunately, Halloween is known to have a historically high rate of alcohol-related accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 45% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night between 2011 and 2015 were in crashes involving a drunk driver.
Children and their parents are also at risk of being hit by drunk drivers while trick-or-treating on Halloween. According to NHTSA statistics, 36% of fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween night between 2011 and 2015 involved drunk drivers.
In an effort to combat the dangers associated with drunk driving on Halloween many law enforcement agencies throughout the nation are participating in the annual DUI enforcement initiative over the days leading up to Halloween this year.
Warning Drivers & Pedestrians To Stay Safe
Local law enforcement agencies are also working with national organizations to educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving. The Center for Traffic Safety is reminding individuals who plan to consume alcohol on Halloween that buzzed driving is drunk driving.
“It’s so important to make a plan before heading out to the Halloween festivities,” said Barbara Zortman, director of the Center for Traffic Safety. “Even one drink can impair judgement. This is why it’s essential to have a plan for how you’ll safely get home after your night of partying, before you ever head out for your event. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”
Plan Before You Party to Get Home Safely
You can stay safe and protect your neighbors by following these tips:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.
- Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and in Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8).
- SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement.
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
One Way or Another, You’ll Pay for Drunk and Buzzed Driving
- On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing and repairs, and more.
- The financial impact from impaired driving crashes can be devastating: based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually.
- Some people mistakenly think they can avoid a DUI by refusing to take a breath test. Wrong. In many jurisdictions a refusal to take a breath test results in the immediate loss of your driver’s license, and the impoundment of your vehicle.
Alcohol Impairment Affects Pedestrians, Too.
- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- Alcohol involvement—for the driver and/or the pedestrian—was reported in 48 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities in 2015.
- In 2015, an estimated 34 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes had pedestrians with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher.
- In 2015, an estimated 15 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes had drivers with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher.
Always remember: It is illegal in every state to drink and drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Keep yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors safe—never drink and drive.
Always remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.