Getting the Real Monsters Off Our Roads

Oct 27, 2010, 05:00 ET from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Region 3

Halloween is an Especially Scary Weekend for Drivers in the Region

BALTIMORE, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Halloween night is often one of the deadliest nights of the year because of impaired drivers. So this October 31 and all weekend long, area law enforcement are on the lookout for drunk drivers, announced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Nationally, drunk driving deaths are down. But that just shows that increased vigilance works, and not that people should relax, said Dr. Beth Baker, Administrator for NHTSA's Region 3, which includes the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. "Halloween weekend lends itself to parties, and if impaired drivers take the party on the road, it can turn scarier than any horror show." In 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, which is the legal threshold for impaired drivers in most states.

"Drunk driving has scary consequences other than the possibility of killing someone," said Dr. Baker. "The trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest can be significant." Drunk driving violators face jail time, loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off work.

NHTSA offers these tips for a safe Halloween weekend for all drivers:

  1. Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  2. Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  3. If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
  4. Use your community's Sober Rides program.
  5. If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.
  6. And remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk.  If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

More information can be found on

SOURCE National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Region 3