Feds: Drunk Driving A Bigger Problem On Halloween Than New Year’s Eve

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a holiday drunk driving warning, that’s arriving a couple of months early. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving crashes are three times more likely on Halloween than on New Year’s Eve.

“Shocked,” said Cheryl Bowes of Dallas. “Shocked. There will be kids all over these streets on Halloween.”

Bowes is expecting many of those trick-or-treat visitors to make a stop at her Lower Greenville-area home. As she puts the finishing touches on the make-believe terror that adorns her porch, she mulls over the drunk driving threat that officials say is all too real.

“If it’s three times worse than New Years’ Eve, people need to be aware,” said Bowes

In fact, according to the NHTSA, between 2009 to 2013, 43 percent of fatal Halloween night crashes involved drunk driving.

“I’m going to get the word out to my patients and families for sure,” said Priscilla Rieves. Rieves is a pediatric nurse practitioner. She loves kids and takes both Halloween fun and safety, seriously.

She has this advice for parents.

“It’s important to stay with your children, have them in something that will reflect light. Around here, in our 1920s neighborhood, streetlights aren’t that bright, so flashlights, glow sticks, things like that – and being mindful of traffic.”

Yes, trick-or-treaters and their parents must be mindful of traffic – traffic that will almost certainly include intoxicated drivers. So adults who choose to celebrate Halloween with alcohol are encouraged to do so, responsibly.

“Use your common sense, said Bowes. “Get a ride, get that Uber or Lyft or whatever they do– designate a driver.” And as Mr. Charlie– her caged, talking skeleton begins to rattle his cage, Bowes is reminded of the terror that’s real. “Let it be in the decorations, and not in the streets.”

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