Extra Police Enforcement Should Scare Drunk Halloween Drivers

Every year, on October 31, the streets are filled with excited trick-or-treaters going house-to-house in search of candy and other Halloween treats. Unfortunately, as night falls, the decorated streets often become dangerous when some drivers take the festive day too far.

At least six people died and another 243 were injured last Halloween in an Illinois car crash. One of these crashes involved a drunk driver. Those seriously injured in car accidents have important legal rights that a skilled car crash lawyer can help to protect.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 41 percent of all national highway fatalities during Halloween 2010 involved a driver with a blood alcohol level that was above the legal limit. This percentage does not take into account, however, the number of injuries or crashes by those driving under the .08 limit. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, and it is important to designate a driver before the festivities begin to ensure safety on the roads.

Buckling up and driving defensively are other key factors to avoid fatalities and injuries. The Illinois Department of Transportation urges those who see drunk drivers on the road to contact local police officers immediately in order to prevent potential car crashes. Take your safety and the safety of others into your own hands: make travel arrangements ahead of time, use your seat belt, keep your eyes open, and do your best to prevent anyone around you from driving drunk.

Many states, including Illinois, amped up their DUI policies and procedures in anticipation of the holiday season. DUI checkpoints and increased patrol presence are already planned throughout the metropolitan area. Drunk drivers face an array of consequences that affect their lives long after Halloween night.

The financial costs alone should be enough to deter intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel. Higher insurance rates, court costs, towing fees, repairs, and lost wages due to time away from work are only a handful of the possible consequences. A DUI arrest for a first-time offender means a minimum of 1 year revoked license, community service hours, and up to one year in jail. An arrest for repeat offenders means mandatory 1 to 5 years license revocation and 5 mandatory days (to one year) in jail.

The urgency and seriousness of impaired driving is clear; the facts are not over-exaggerated. You are eight times more likely to die and nearly five times more likely to suffer an incapacitating injury if you are in an accident with a drunk driver. Take advantage of your city’s public transportation system – the trains and buses will be populated with costumed party-goers looking for a fun and festive evening. Let your night take an adventurous turn in a taxi. There are countless alternatives to drunk driving and no viable excuses for putting your life and the lives of others in jeopardy.

There will be warning signs on most major highways throughout the country to deter people from engaging in potentially dangerous behavior. AAA and Bud Light have teamed up in Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia to create the Tow to Go service, which provides confidential local rides at no cost. The service takes both the vehicle and the driver home, no questions asked.

Chicago car accident attorneys at Pintas & Mulins encourage drivers to pay close attention to their surroundings this holiday season. Because Halloween is in the middle of the week this year, patrols are already in force. Masks, glitter and elaborate costumes won’t disguise driver impairment with all of the police efforts in place to crack down on drunk drivers this week. Halloween has quickly become one of the nation’s deadliest nights because many citizens don’t consider legitimate threats as they celebrate. Make this year’s celebration a fun, festive, and safe one.