DUIs expected to spike during the days leading up to Halloween
Tipsy, creepy clowns at a house party. Inebriated presidential candidates and slurring Pokemon at the pub. This Halloween will be fun. However, it will also be extra dangerous on the road because of when this year’s holiday falls on the calendar. Be aware of Halloween drinking.
New data taken from 500,000 DUI offenders — monitored 24/7 for drinking — estimates that this year’s alcohol violations on the Saturday before Halloween (on Monday) will be 4.5 times higher than a typical weekend.
“There’s going to be parties Friday and Saturday night due to the fact it falls on a Monday,” said Rick Johnson with the Washington State Patrol. “So there will be increased patrols and if we know it’s not necessarily alcohol then we have an impairment expert that will come and do further analysis of the individual.“
To back up that point, Alcohol Monitoring Systems — a company who watches drinking and driving statistics of repeat offenders — predicts drinking violations this will likely jump by 19 percent nationally, compared to average Halloween drinking.
Responsible Halloween drinking
You can still go out and have a good time, engage in responsible Halloween drinking — just do it safely. Officials are even suggesting downloading ride share apps like Uber or Lyft and putting your information in before you actually need it because, at the end of the night, typing could be challenging. Even with surge pricing — when you pay more based on supply and demand — your ride will be thousands of dollars cheaper than a DUI.
Johnson says Halloween drinking violations in King County have increased in recent years.
“In 2014, there was 20 over that same two days Oct 30 and 31, and in 2015 there was 25,” he said.
Driving drunk affects everyone, obviously, but Halloween is an especially risky night for kids. Children are two times more likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year.
“Parents have to make sure their kids are seen, stay with them, use flashlights or clothing with reflective material … something,” Johnson said. “Kids will be out Monday night rain or no rain.”
And just an extra tip: watch out for Donald Trump. As if the current election wasn’t scary enough, Trump has been the most popular mask people have been asking for, according to Seattle’s Display & Costume.