NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Did you know that fatal accidents involving drunk drivers occur three times more often on Halloween than on New Year’s Eve?
When you think of drunk driving crashes and the New Year’s holiday most of the deaths are a result of vehicle accidents on highways and byways, but on Halloween there a lot more people, mostly young, walking the streets.
Officials with Parkland Health & Hospital System posted National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics showing that over the Halloween nights from 2009 to 2013, 43 percent of all vehicle deaths involved drunk driving, and in 2013, 26 percent of all Halloween night pedestrian fatalities involved a drunk driver.
While Halloween isn’t until Tuesday, there are lots of parties are planned this weekend and police want to remind people to celebrate responsibly. Lieutenant Pedro Barineau with the garland Police Department said officers there know about the increasing problem and are responding accordingly.
“We’re gonna be aware. We’re gonna have our patrol officers out there aware of all the potential [problems],” he said. “And we are constantly educating our officers about this time of year in regards to potential drunk drivers being on the roadway.”
Ultimately it comes down to drivers being more responsible at Halloween celebrations and taking time to be mindful of all the little ghost and goblins out on the street trick-or-treating. Lt. Barineau most people misjudge how much alcohol they can tolerate and still be safe behind the wheel.
“There’s all these scientific studies in regards to how much [alcohol] your body can take per hour and things to that affect… and there are a lot of myths out there as well. One thing we want to educate everyone on is responsible drinking. If your drinking too many, one after another, after another, you’re drinking way to much.”
Experts advise driver to of course not even get behind the wheel if they’ve had anything to drink, but also for drivers who haven’t been drinking to roll down their windows while in residential areas — because a person will often hear something before they see it.
To get the spooky little ones off the street it’s also advised that homeowners turn off their porch lights by 9 p.m. so kids get the signal that it’s probably time they head home.