Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick or Treat! Plan ahead for Halloween safety

by Joy Spencer

Halloween night is one of the deadliest of the year for impaired drivers and their victims. In 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 58% of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 to 5:59 a.m. November 1) involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.

The OLCC reminds party-goers, party planners and business owners to plan ahead for Halloween safety.

  • Don’t serve alcohol to minors. The legal drinking age is 21 and, as a host, it is your responsibility to make sure minors aren’t drinking.

  • If you’re going to drink alcohol, make plans now for a safe ride home.

  • Party hosts should provide lots of food and non-alcoholic drinks to help guests pace themselves.

  • Bars or restaurants that are hosting costume parties, should make that sure customers are recognizable without masks and elaborate make up when checking ID.

  • Have the number of a cab company or public transit tickets available for guests or customers who’ve had too much.

  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call your local law enforcement immediately.

  • Since Halloween falls on a weekend this year, motorists should be aware that young children and adults will be out on Saturday and Sunday nights.

  • Drive slowly and watch for children and party-goers crossing the streets.

  • Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.

  • Be especially alert for children darting out between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs.

  • Please remember that masks can impair your vision. If you are walking from place to place on Halloween night, the combination of alcohol and masks can be dangerous.

  • It may be difficult to judge a patron's/guest's level of intoxication when they are "in character" - à la Jack Sparrow. Be extra diligent when monitoring patrons'/guests' in your bar, restaurant or private party.

Halloween should be a fun, festive and safe celebration for everyone.

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