Posted on: September 29, 2017

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Halloween is a night for friends and family to enjoy candy, costumes, and memory-making. Save the nightmares for the horror films: don’t engage in drunk driving, and always remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

Tragically, Halloween drunk-driving fatalities are on the rise. There were 55 deaths on Halloween night in 2015, up from 17 in 2011—and steadily increasing each year in between. If you plan to go out with the ghouls and goblins to enjoy an adult beverage, make sure you plan a safe ride home before you leave the house. Even if you “only have a couple,” you are in no shape to drive.

Collectively, from 2011 to 2015, there were 172 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving a drunk driver on Halloween night, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, during those same years, nearly half (45%) of all motor vehicle deaths involved drunk driving. That’s a chilling statistic. What’s more upsetting is how preventable these deaths really are. Americans should know by now that it is illegal in every State and Washington, D.C. to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. If you’ve been drinking, you’re in no position to judge your own sobriety. Alcohol impairs judgment. That’s why you make a plan before you head out. 

Drunk driving is not only deadly; it’s also costly. You can face jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance costs, attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to missing work. On average, you could pay as much as $10,000 for your DUI. Don’t think for a moment that you can refuse to take a breath test. In many communities, refusing to take a breath test can result in the immediate loss of your license and impoundment of your vehicle on the spot.

This Halloween, and every day, you can stay safe and protect your neighbors by following these tips:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and in Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

It’s a lot easier to enjoy the party when you’re not worrying about how you’re getting home safely. I hope everyone in Jefferson County will remember this Halloween that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

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Posted on: April 19, 2011