Halloween Leads to a Frightening Amount of DWIs

Use Your Brain This Halloween. Don’t Drink & Drive.

Halloween has become more than just taking the kids out to fill their bags full of candy trick-or-treating. Let’s be honest, Halloween is very much an adult holiday; for many, it’s a time to dress up (some more outrageously than others), party with friends and drink. While haunted houses might make us scream, the scariest thing about Halloween might be facing DUI charges for driving drunk (or worse). With October 31 falling on a Friday in 2014, even more adults will be celebrating. Unfortunately, this may lead to an uptick in drinking and driving.

Some scary stats:

According to a NRF survey, over 33% of adults plan to throw or attend a Halloween party this year. Based on last year’s statistics, ServingAlcohol.com, a site for bartenders, waiters, waitresses, said in their October 2013 newsletter that Halloween ranks second only to Christmas in terms of dollars spent on drinking. For far too many, Halloween celebrations end badly … and that can be prevented. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, from 2008-2012, more than half (51%) of all crash fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver or motorcycle operator. In 2012, 19% of the fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween involved drunk drivers.

Traffic Safety Marketing (TSM) has rolled out a drunk driving prevention initiative, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” specific for Halloween: “They’ll see you before you see them” to increase awareness. And law enforcement throughout New Jersey will be reinforcing their efforts on Halloween night actively looking to catch drunk drivers. Saturation patrols will be conducted in high traffic areas and DUI checkpoints will likely be set up near Halloween-themed attractions. Drunk-driving laws make it illegal to drive over the limit of .08. The consequences are costly.

The same rules apply for Halloween as they do for any other day when alcohol is consumed. Plan ahead and take caution with these tips:

1. Secure a designated driver before the night even gets started.
2. Make plans to stay the night if you’re drinking at a house party.
3. If you plan to drink on site at an attraction, make reservations with a nearby hotel.
4. Use public transportation.
5. If any of the above suggestions cannot be accomplished, don’t be a zombie, use your head and simply don’t drink.
6. If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. It is your business—you could save a life.
7. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.

Failing to be mindful of these suggestions can lead to New Jersey DUI charges or, even scarier, death or injury. Make proper plans ahead of time or choose wisely and stay sober. Let’s face it; nobody wants a booking photo period…and definitely not a booking photo wearing their Halloween alter-ego costume.

Our lawyers are available 24 hours a day, every day of the week. If you have been charged with a DWI, DUI or refusal in New Jersey, contact us to request a phone consultation to discuss and review your situation with our New Jersey DWI Attorney.