Halloween is a time when thousands of trick-or-treaters dressed up in their favorite costumes will be out and about having a good time collecting candy. For other adults, that means heading to local bars, restaurants or house parties to celebrate the holiday.
With so many people hitting the streets October 31, the Monterey Park Police Department wants to remind those participating in events where alcohol may be involved to celebrate Halloween responsibly.
In partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), Monterey Park Police Department is encouraging everyone to not put yourself and others at risk by choosing to drink and drive. If you plan to drink, plan a sober ride home.
“Halloween should be a fun night for kids and adults,” said Monterey Park Police Chief Jim Smith. “By planning ahead, abiding by the rules of the road and driving sober, everyone can enjoy a safe night out.”
Unfortunately, Halloween night is also when there is an uptick in drunk-driving related crashes. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 168 drunk-driving deaths on Halloween night. Forty-four percent of all people killed in crashes on Halloween night were in crashes involving a drunk driver, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Younger drivers (21-34 years old) pose the greatest risk, accounting for nearly half of all deaths in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2016.
“We want people to enjoy Halloween, but also act responsibly,” Chief Smith said. “There are no excuses for driving impaired. There are so many options to get home safely.”
Monterey Park Police Department also supports efforts from the OTS that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.
Monterey Park Police Department offers these tips for drivers, partygoers and parents out with children trick-or-treaters Halloween night:
- Avoid driving through residential areas where trick-or-treaters are likely to be.
- This is a night with heavy foot traffic and another reason to slow down, be extra cautious and obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Watch for children in costumes that may be harder to see at night. Look out for trick-or-treaters who may cross the street mid-block, or from behind parked cars.
- Decide before going out whether you plan to drink or drive. You can’t do both.
- If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver, take a cab, ride-share or public transit. Anything that doesn’t involve you getting behind the wheel.
- Party hosts: Offer non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers and don’t allow anyone who may be impaired leave.
- Parents should plan their trick-or-treat route ahead of time and avoid busy streets.
- Have your children wear visible costumes that are easy to walk in and see. Light-colored costumes are best. Use retro-reflective tape.
- Carry a flashlight so drivers can see you.
Whether by bicycle, car, motorcycle or on foot, Monterey Park Police Department encourages everyone on Halloween night, and every other night, to “Go Safely.”
Sergeant David Elliott, Monterey Park Police Department