The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is reminding residents to be safe this Halloween, as they say it's one of the most dangerous holidays in the state.
Officials say more injury and fatality crashes occur around October 31 than nearly any other holiday period. During the 2019 Halloween period, there were 559 crashes in which someone was hurt or killed in Louisiana, and 58 of those involved alcohol, according to the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation at LSU. Last year, 81 people were hurt and two killed in Halloween crashes that involved an impaired driver.
"When people drink too much and get behind the wheel, a holiday celebration can quickly turn tragic," LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said. "We want to remind everyone to plan ahead if they're going to be drinking; make arrangements for a sober friend to drive, call a ride share or taxi service, or get a friend to walk you home."
The 559 crashes during Halloween last year was more than the number of crashes for Mardi Gras (513), Thanksgiving (382), Memorial Day (328) or Labor Day (305). Alcohol-related crashes during holiday periods last year injured 442 people and killed 23 people in Louisiana, according to CARTS data.
Freeman also noted that law enforcement agencies are reporting that drugged driving is becoming a bigger problem in Louisiana than drunk driving.
"Impaired is impaired, whether it's because of alcohol, illegal drugs or even legal, prescription drugs," Freeman said. "If you feel different, you drive different. Any kind of impaired driving is not only illegal, it puts you and everyone on the road at risk."
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