Department of Highways, District 11
Don’t Let Halloween Turn into a Nightmare
With more than half of the nation’s traffic fatalities over Halloween weekend related to alcohol, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet/Department of Highways District 11 announced today the launch of a strong push this Halloween season to remind all party-goers to always remember to designate a sober driver.
“Halloween is most often thought of as a time for family fun – full of funny costumes, trick-or-treating with the kids and the annual haunted houses,” said Sandy Rudder, Public Information Officer, “But unfortunately, Halloween has also become a very dangerous and deadly time of year due to a jump in drunk driving.”
In fact, 53 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation over Halloween weekend in 2003 were alcohol-related – and 45 percent of the total fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher -- the legal limit in every state including Kentucky.
That’s why the KY Transportation Cabinet/ Department of Highways is joining with other national, state and local highway safety officials this season to aggressively promote the designated driver message before the Halloween parties begin.
KYTC offered these simple reminders for a safer Halloween weekend:
• Be responsible and never drive impaired.
• If you plan to drink, choose your sober driver before going out.
• Once impaired, use mass transit, call a cab or ask a sober friend to get you home.
• If all else fails, just stay where you are and sleep it off.
• Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against an impaired driver.
• If you are hosting a Halloween party, make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver.
Impaired driving is no accident – nor is it a victimless crime, Rudder said. Statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2004 show that nearly 13,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with an illegal blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08 or higher.
“Driving a vehicle or a motorcycle while impaired is simply a dumb thing to do,” Rudder said. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for drunk driving are significant.
“Don’t let your Halloween turn into a nightmare. Please plan ahead, be responsible and always designate a sober driver before all Halloween festivities,” Rudder said. “Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.”