Why Halloween Is a Terrible Time to Be Driving
You may think that the most frightening experiences you’ll have on Halloween will be the costumes and pranks. The truth is that it’s drunk drivers you have to be most concerned with.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is one of the deadliest nights to be on the road. The administration looked at roadway fatalities over a span of five years on that night, 2009 to 2013, and discovered that 43 percent involved alcohol.
Even though Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, many adults will still hold parties on a work night, which could lead to a greater number of drunk drivers on the roads. Here are some facts to be aware of on this holiday.
- 23% of pedestrians killed on Halloween night were victims of a drunk driver.
- 45% of traffic fatalities on Halloween were attributed to drunk drivers.
- More than 50 million adults will attend or host a Halloween party.
1. Pedestrians Versus Vehicles
Halloween night is particularly dangerous for trick-or-treaters. A young child is more likely to be struck by a vehicle on Halloween than at any other time of year. In fact, children are twice as likely to be struck on Halloween when compared to the other 364 days.
2. Pedestrians Versus Drunk Drivers
A study has shown that, in 2013, 26 percent of those people hit by cars and killed on Halloween were hit by drunk drivers. This means that a quarter of all people struck and killed were hit because someone was impaired.
3. Vehicle Accidents and DUI
As has been mentioned, approximately 43 percent of all crashes that occur on Halloween are alcohol related. This is a higher percentage than any other time of year, making Halloween particularly dangerous.
Get Home Safely
If you are 21 or over, there is nothing that says you can’t partake in one or more alcoholic beverages on Halloween. If you do, however, you’ve got to do so safely. Drinking and driving is never a good idea, and can prove deadly. Even if you aren’t worried about yourself, consider the hundreds of other people on the road. Not a single one deserves to be injured or killed because of your choices.
If you drink, arrange for a sober ride home. Call a cab, utilize Uber or take public transportation. If you are going out with a group of friends, see if one is willing to act as the designated driver. If you are hosting a party, arrange for rides home for guests that you believe have had one too many. In some instances, you could be held liable if you host an event and allow intoxicated guests to leave your property.
For parents of trick-or-treaters, consider your costume options carefully. If you can, make sure at least part of your child’s costume is brightly colored. In addition, make sure young children never trick-and-treat alone, as they can be hard to see by even the most sober driver. If your kids are crossing the road, have them walk beside you.
When you choose to drink and drive, you are risking your life. You are also risking lives of innocent pedestrians and vehicle occupants. Having a couple of adult beverages and driving yourself home is simply not worth the risk of life-changing outcomes. Consider that before you slide behind the wheel of your vehicle.
Fatalities Aren’t the Only Worry
People choose to drive while intoxicated every day. Most of these people are lucky enough to make it home without incident, which is probably why the behavior continues. Some cause accidents that alter the course of lives. Then there are those impaired drivers who fall in the middle — they are pulled over and charge with a crime.
If you are pulled over for drinking and driving on Halloween, you face serious consequences. Under Georgia’s driving under the influence laws, you face jail time, fines, court costs, the price of DUI school, and license suspension or revocation. The penalties for a DUI conviction are based upon your blood alcohol content and prior offenses. You face stiffer penalties if you are underage or are driving a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest.
Let’s look beyond the immediate consequences of a conviction and into how they could affect your life. If you have a professional license for condition of employment, your license could be revoked. If that happens, your job is gone. In fact, your entire career is over and you will be forced to start over. Your good name will be ruined. You’ve worked hard to build the reputation you have; a DUI can effectively trash it.
Everyone who wants to should be able to enjoy Halloween festivities. People need to stop and think about the choices they are making before they decide to get in their vehicle and on the road. In the best cases, people make it home safely. In the worst, they take the lives of strangers or even people they love.
Our Georgia DUI Lawyers are Here for You
If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta this Halloween weekend, you need the experience of a local criminal defense attorney on your side. Call our office to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.
We understand the predicament you are in, and we will put our years of experience to work defending your legal rights. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm.