Stay Safe This Halloween
Halloween is the perfect time to let loose, and no one knows that more than the police. Halloween weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends for drivers, and because of this, police will be extra vigilant with more officers on the road. Keep reading for tips on how to stay safe this Hallows Eve.
Why Is Halloween So Deadly?
A study showed that fatalities on October 31st happen between 6:00 pm-5:59 am, and over 62% are attributed to drunk driving. In 2019 alone, 10,142 people were killed.
These horrifying statistics show the danger of drunk driving, but it also is the motivation behind law enforcement’s efforts to stop drunk driving this Halloween. A representative from the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program stated that,
“Even though Halloween is on a Sunday this year, we know there will be more parties, events, and get-togethers […] Even one drink can impair judgment. The same is true for any illegal drug or certain prescription medications.”
West Virginia has a no-tolerance policy for impaired driving and punishes those who choose to drive drunk harshly. In some areas, police may set up checkpoints to monitor drivers in high population areas. Law enforcement is legally required to post a notice of checkpoints in your area, so if you plan on driving during Halloween weekend, keep track of the news for any postings.
As mentioned in the previous section, checkpoints are often in larger cities and/or gatherings and events where a higher percentage of people could be drinking and driving. If you encounter a checkpoint, it’s important to understand your rights.
Checkpoints are a primary tool for catching drunk drivers, but police can’t make an arrest without proof. If an officer pulls you aside and asks you to step out of the car, you have two choices: do as they say or refuse.
You have every right to refuse a sobriety test but proceed with caution. Refusing a sobriety test means the police can’t get concrete proof of your blood alcohol levels, but it does raise suspicions. In these situations, the best thing you can do is cooperate and contact an attorney as soon as possible.
How to Stay Safe
It may be tempting to drive home if you live close to the party or restaurant. However, going even a short distance while intoxicated can have consequences. Not only could you get pulled over, but you increase the risk of injury to other drivers.
If you plan on drinking at a party or gathering, plan your evening. Consider the following questions:
- Will you be alone?
- How far is the gathering from your home?
- Will you be going to a friend or neighbor’s house?
- Would they let you stay the night?
- Is there someone you could call to drive you home?
- Are any of your friends willing to be a designated driver?
- Is there a police checkpoint near the event you’re attending?
Find the answer to these questions before your big night out so you can be prepared for anything that could come up. If your designated driver falls through, call a taxi service or Uber. It may cost a few extra dollars, but it’s best to avoid driving if you can.
If you’re attending a party at someone’s house, ask if you can stay the night. It’s best to sleep off the alcohol and drive home in the morning. Plus, in doing so, you can avoid any police checkpoints that may be in the area.A DUI shouldn’t ruin your Halloween. If you are stopped by law enforcement, contact The Wagner Law Firm as soon as possible