Halloween 2014: Drive Sober

Halloween is scary enough without the added terror of drunk drivers on the road. Every year, while some people are trick-or-treating, others are drinking and driving. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

• Halloween parties often involve alcohol, making it a particularly deadly night due to the number of drunk drivers on the roads.
• According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on Halloween night in 2012 (6 p.m. October 31 to 5:59 a.m. on November 1), almost half (48%) of all crash fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher—the illegal limit in every state. That percentage is even higher than the overall percentage of drunk-driving fatalities nationwide (31%) for all of 2012.
• In 2012, 19 percent of the fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween involved drunk drivers.
• Nationwide in 2012, drunk driving was involved in the death of 10,322 people, so it’s clear that too many drivers are breaking the law and putting their lives—and the lives of others—at grave risk.

Drunk-driving laws in every state make it illegal to drive over the limit of .08. Illinois Law Enforcement will be out on Halloween night, actively looking for those who drive impaired. And the consequences are costly.

• For those caught drinking and driving, the legal and financial penalties are significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. The average DUI costs around $10,000.00. Also, there’s the added embarrassment, humiliation, and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.
• Some people think that if they get pulled over while they are driving impaired, they can just refuse a breath test to ‘get out of’ a DUI. But did you know that refusing to take a breath test in many jurisdictions results in the loss of your driver’s license on the spot and the impoundment of your vehicle? Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Don’t just make Halloween party plans—make a plan to stay alive.

• If you plan on drinking this Halloween—which falls on a Friday night—make arrangements now for how you’ll get home.
• Driving impaired is never the solution. Designate a sober driver and stick to the plan.
• If you are impaired and didn’t designate a sober driver, you can take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. Remember, even if you have to pay for a ride home, it’s far less expensive than a DUI or paying with your life.
• Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, especially on Halloween. In 2012, 19 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
• Use your community’s sober ride program.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. It is your business—you could save a life.
• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.

The above information was provided to Illinois Licensed DUI Providers for distribution via The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving, especially on Halloween.

The Birt Group is an Illinois Licensed DUI Service Provider located in Wheaton, Illinois.  We provide DUI counseling to Illinois DUI Offenders for Minimal Risk, Moderate Risk & Significant Risk levels.  Please contact us at www.thebirtgroup.com or (630) 891-2478 for information or to enroll.

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