Halloween is quickly approaching, which for many people means celebrating with alcohol. As you carve your pumpkin or pick out a costume this year, keep in mind that one of the best choices you can make is to drive sober or designate a sober driver to get you home safely. The Monterey Park Police Department is reminding all drivers that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” because every Halloween there are still some people who think they can drive after drinking.
“We want people to remember: like ‘Trick or Treat;’ ‘Drink or Drive;’ one or the other, but never both. ‘Don’t Hesitate…Designate,’” said Captain Gene Harris of the Monterey Park Police Department. Before you take your first sip of alcohol on October 31, figure out who your designated sober driver will be. If you wait until you’re ‘buzzed’ to make a decision, you may decide to drive. “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,” which means that driving “buzzed” brings very serious consequences. In 2012 alone, there were 10,322 people killed in drunk–driving crashes. Those were preventable deaths that happened when drunk drivers failed to plan ahead.
The Monterey Park PD is deploying extra DUI officers Halloween night to supplement routine patrol officers on one of the most deadly nights of the years. Officers will be looking for the tale-tell sign of alcohol and or drug impairment during each enforcement contact, all weekend long as many will be attending parties were alcohol is served.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is a statistically dangerous night for drunk driving. In 2012, almost half of all crash fatalities that night involved a drunk driver.
The Monterey Park Police Department recommends these simple tips for a safe Halloween:
• Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night
• Always designate a sober driver
• If you are drunk, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation
• Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. 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
• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.
The Monterey Park PD is partnering with officers from around the county and region as part of the Avoid DUI taskforce. Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Sergeant Brent Archibald, Monterey Park Police Department