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Acadiana organization gives reminder to drive sober this Halloween

Driving a Car
Posted at 10:14 AM, Oct 27, 2021

This Halloween, the Acadiana Regional Safety Coalition is reminding everyone about the dangers of driving under the influence.

The Coalition says that this time of year often sees an increase in the numbers of drunk drivers on the roadway.

They've partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind drivers and pedestrians to be cautious on Halloween night. For those who will be celebrating with alcohol, the coalition says to plan for a sober ride and to remember it is never safe to drink and drive.

Between 2015 and 2019, there were 126 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 – 5:59 a.m. November 1). According to NHTSA, 41% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2015 to 2019 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. Adults between the ages of 21 and 34 had the highest percentage (62%) of fatalities in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2019.

“Even though Halloween is on a Sunday this year, we’re certain to see extra parties throughout the weekend, and every single party goer should plan their sober ride home in advance” said Ron Czajkowski, Safety Coordinator for ARTSC. “Even one drink can impair judgment. You should never put yourself, or others, at risk because you made the choice to drink and drive. Even one drink can be one too many. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

The coalition says one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations at or above .08 grams per deciliter). In 2019, there were 10,142 people killed in drunk-driving crashes.

“We want our community to have a fun night out on Halloween, but to also stay safe and make responsible choices,” said Czajkowski. “In today’s world, there are many options available to drivers to help them get home safely if they’ve been drinking. We expect drivers to refrain from driving after drinking,” he said.

Nationally, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, except in Utah, where the limit is .05 g/dL. And the costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.

Celebrate with a Plan

If you plan to head out for a night of Halloween partying, ARSC has these tips for a safe and happy evening:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
  • If available, use your community’s sober ride program.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911 for your local law enforcement.
  • Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

Always remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.

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