With Halloween on a weekend this year, there is potential for increased impaired driving deaths during a holiday already associated with a high rate of alcohol-related fatal crashes. The Idaho Transportation Department joins other safety partners in a nationwide campaign reminding motorists to designate a sober driver before engaging in Halloween festivities that involve alcohol.
Don't let Halloween turn into a nightmare, says Kevin Bechen of ITD's Office of Traffic and Highway Safety. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the parties begin. Halloween should be a time for fun, not tragedy.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), two-thirds of all highway fatalities nationally at Halloween last year were alcohol-related.
Bechen offers these simple reminders for a safer Halloween weekend:
Impaired driving is one of America's deadliest crimes. In Idaho, 115 people died in alcohol-related crashes last year. Nationally, more than 17,000 people died in alcohol-related highway crashes in 2003. Every 30 minutes nearly 50 times a day someone in America dies in an alcohol-related crash.
This means you, your friends and your family are regularly at risk, Bechen says. But the nightmare of drinking and driving doesn't end with a tragic death or unnecessary injury. There are dozens of other serious consequences that await those who choose to drive drunk.
The consequences for those arrested while driving impaired often include jail time, the suspension or loss of a driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, time away from work, plus the embarrassment and humiliation of telling friends, family and employers.
It's simply not worth the risk anyway you look at it, Bechen adds.
For more information about national efforts to stop impaired
driving, visit www.stopimpaireddriving.org