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.