Halloween: Keep the Overindulgence to Candy

By Debbie Hersman

Halloween is meant to be a little spooky. What many people do not realize, however, is that Halloween weekend holds a far scarier reality: a spike in impaired driving.

In 2010, 31 percent of highway deaths involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. But on Halloween night (6 p.m. on October 31 to 5:59 a.m. November 1) 41 percent of deaths on involved an impaired driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Between October 25 and November 4, law enforcement will conduct special campaigns to deter impaired driving. This period of high visibility enforcement, however, is not just about pulling people over and handing out tickets. It is also about getting people to think of how they can have fun without putting their lives or the lives of others at risk on the roads.

We can all do our part to support this effort and drive the numbers down. Before going out, plan for how you will get home. If you intend to drink, make sure you have a designated driver. And if you find yourself drinking without a planned ride home, consider taxis, family members, public transportation or your community safe-ride-home program. Halloween should be spooky, not deadly.

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