Let the Ghosts and Goblins Be Scary: Don’t Drink and Drive

By Mark Rosekind

Historically, Halloween has been a night where many alcohol-impaired drivers take to the road. In 2009, nearly half of the highway deaths on Halloween night involved impaired drivers. This is especially scary because on this night our children trick-or-treat across our streets and through our neighborhoods. However, this year many communities across the country are taking actions that should scare alcohol-impaired drivers — they are stepping up enforcement with sobriety checkpoints and targeted law enforcement efforts.

Last month, I visited two sobriety checkpoints in Northern Virginia. They were the result of a collaboration of the Fairfax County Police, the Prince William County Police, and the Virginia State Police. These checkpoints covered both directions of one busy road and successfully identified numerous alcohol-impaired drivers. The overwhelming police presence demonstrated the community’s zero tolerance for alcohol-impaired driving.

Halloween is a night when the police will be out in full force. There is no need to drive after having too much to drink. As you and your friends plan your Halloween celebrations, before you even leave plan on how you will get home safely. Identify the designated driver before you head out or bring enough money for a cab. There are also free services, such as the SoberRide program in the Washington, DC area, that you can use.

Please make Halloween safe for everyone and let the “scaring” be done by the ghosts and goblins and not by the drivers on the roads.

Member Mark RosekindMark Rosekind, Ph.D., is a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board. He is a frequent contributor to the NTSB blog.

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