Halloween is a time for making memories, not causing nightmares. This Halloween, the Monterey Park Police Department is reminding Halloween partiers that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” Stay safe – and help keep others safe – by refraining from impaired driving as “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” In 2015, there were 55 people killed nationwide in drunk-driving-related crashes and others were killed by drugged impaired drivers. If your Halloween celebrating involves alcohol, marijuana or other drugs, it’s imperative that you make a plan to get home without getting behind the wheel.
Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes. Everyone should be mindful that when taking medication – whether prescription, over-the-counter or marijuana – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.
It is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher and .05 or more for those under 21. In 2015, there were 10,265 people killed in alcohol impaired related crashes nationwide. Drug impaired and drug/alcohol combination crashes are rising and now with marijuana use legal, these stats are becoming a significant factor in deaths and injuries on California roadways.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 45 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night in recent years were in crashes involving an alcohol impaired driver nationwide. Children and parents out trick-or-treating are also at risk, as 36 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night involved drunk drivers.
This Halloween and every day, drivers need to remember that it is never okay to drive buzzed by alcohol, marijuana, medication or illicit drugs. No matter what, designate a sober driver or plan to use a ride share or public transportation to get home safely. Download the OTS Designated Driver free mobile app, “DDVIP,” which helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.
Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the Monterey Park Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.
Sergeant David Elliott, Monterey Park Police Department