Coal Township police to crack down on drunk drivers
COAL TOWNSHIP - This Halloween, police will crack down on drunk drivers throughout the region with an aggressive "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" enforcement effort.
Police in Northumberland County have given a fair warning to all partygoers - Keep the party off the road.
The scariest part of Halloween is not the spooky costumes and scary pranks, it's the impaired drivers," commented Coal Township Patrolman Terry Ketchem. "All too often, partygoers don't plan ahead and choose to drive impaired, but a costume can't disguise drunk driving."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 52 percent of all national fatalities occurring on Halloween night between 2007 and 2011 involved a drunk driver.
In 2011, when Halloween fell on a Monday, 44 percent of the nation's fatalities during the Halloween weekend occurred in a crash involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Thirty-eight percent of fatalities on Halloween night occurred in a crash involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher.
Young men are particularly at risk of being involved in a traffic crash as a result of "buzzed" or drunk driving. Males ages 21 to 34 comprised almost half of all drunk drivers who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide during the 2011 Halloween period.
"If you celebrate with alcohol, you don't belong behind the wheel," Ketchem said. "A sober and safe ride after the party is the best treat you can give yourself and everyone else on the road this Halloween."
To keep safe this Halloween, Ketchem recommends the following tips:
- Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
- Always designate a sober driver.
- If you are impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.
For more information, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.