Did you know that Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for child pedestrians? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is a 43% greater risk of pedestrian deaths on the evening of Halloween as compared to a week before and a week after the holiday.
Several factors are probably at work. One is that trick-or-treating occurs just after dark – during rush hour. Parents may be eager to get home and start the evening’s festivities. Others may be heading out for a night of Halloween revelry. Kids can be hard to see.
Another is that kids’ costumes may not be very safe. Some costumes restrict movement or vision, while others aren’t very visible. And, kids are simply more impulsive than adults. They may see a friend or a particularly enticing home across the street and dart out into traffic without warning.
Unfortunately, one factor may be drunk driving. That’s why police departments around Illinois are planning aggressive DUI enforcement on Halloween night and, in some cases, the surrounding weeks. For example, Buffalo Grove initiated an enhanced enforcement effort on Oct. 19 and it will continue through November 3.
“If your plans include partying this Halloween, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely,” said a spokesperson for the Edwardsville Police Department. “Don’t put yourself, or others, at risk by driving impaired.”
No one wants to risk a child’s life
There are many reasons why people drive drunk, but one of them is simple lack of planning. Alcohol affects your judgment, so plans you make after you are intoxicated are less likely to be safe and successful. It’s crucial, therefore, to make plans for a sober ride home.
If you’ll be drinking, designate a sober driver. Or, plan on calling a ride-hailing service or a taxi, or take public transportation. If worse comes to worst and you don’t have a safe ride, call a sober friend or family member.
If you’re hosting a Halloween party, be sure there are attractive non-alcoholic drinks available for designated drivers. Take your guests’ keys as soon as they arrive and don’t give them back until you know they have a safe ride home. If you think someone is about to drive drunk, take steps to intervene. Let them stay the night or arrange for a pick-up.
Finally, keep an eye out for little ghosts and goblins. Give them plenty of time and space. Help everyone get home safe on Halloween night.
And, if you are arrested for DUI, contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.