With Halloween celebrated on a Friday this year, law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for drunken drivers this weekend.
“Halloween not only is a time for kids to trick or treat, it’s also a night of partying for adults, especially when the holiday falls on a weekend. Unfortunately, some adults don’t celebrate responsibly and choose to get behind the wheel while impaired,” says David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Bureau of Transportation Safety.
Last year, two people were killed in traffic crashes on Halloween in Wisconsin. In 2008, the last year when Halloween was on a Friday, five people were killed, according to WisDOT.
“This year, if you designate a sober driver before you celebrate and don’t let your friends drive if they’re impaired, we could attain zero traffic deaths on Halloween,” says Pabst.
To help combat drunken driving, WisDOT has recently updated and added new features to its free “Zero In Wisconsin Drive Sober” mobile app. This app includes a find-a-ride feature that uses a smart phone’s GPS system to locate alternative transportation, a blood alcohol estimator, designated driver selector, and interactive games to help determine whether someone should give up their car keys. Since its launch in March 2013, nearly 58,000 people have downloaded the app. The app can be downloaded for free by visiting Zero in Wisconsin online (www.zeroinwisconsin.gov).
WisDOT also offers the following advice for a fun and safe Halloween:
· If you’re feeling buzzed, you probably are over the 0.08 (alcohol concentration) limit and should not drive. Take mass transit, a taxicab or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
· Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons with a safe ride home. (Visit www.tlw.org for more information).
· If you see a drunken driver, call 911 immediately.