Adults and children alike look forward to Halloween each year for separate but similar reasons. Children get to go haunting door-to-door in a bountiful quest for candy while adults get to trade the masks we wear daily for something a little more spookier, sexier or more playful. Halloween allows people of every age to dress up and try on a different personality for the night — from superheroes to villains and everything and everyone in between. This and the next Nelson Law blog for October will cover dangers that adults and juveniles face on the scariest night of the year.
Halloween Drunk Driving Statistics
Everyone wants to be able to cut loose and enjoy the Halloween holiday. Many parties involve alcohol and other intoxicants, which if enjoyed irresponsibly can lead to more than a harshed party vibe.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2012-2016, 168 people lost their lives due to drunk driving on Halloween night. NHTSA also notes that Halloween alcohol-impaired roadway fatalities are on the rise — reporting that 44% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night were involved with a collision with a drunk driver.
The highest number of drunk driving crashes occur between the hours of 6pm on October 31 and 6am on November 1, the NHTSA continues. The group at highest risk is between 21 and 34 years old, accounting for the most fatalities in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween in 2016. Here in Oregon, 10 fatal crashes occurred on Halloween night between 2006 and 2015 of which 70% involved impaired drivers.
Drunk Driving Leads to DUII Charges in Oregon
In addition to a DUII on your record, hefty fines and possible jail time, drunk driving on Halloween can lead to fatalities that weigh heavy on your conscious for the rest of your life. Driving impaired or buzzed endangers everyone — passengers, pedestrians, party-throwers and yourself. Beyond serious injury and death, being convicted of a DUII in Oregon can result in:
- Probation or jail time the increases based on blood-alcohol content level and number of offenses
- Loss of driver’s license
- Substantial fines
- Attorney fees, court costs, bail, lost wages, restitution and additional unanticipated charges
- Higher insurance rates
Enjoy the Halloween holiday, but do so responsibly in order to avoid costly DUII charges in Oregon. If you get a DUII on Halloween, a criminal defense attorney like Ricky R. Nelson can help you obtain the most favorable results, but the safest plan would be to drink responsibly. Designate a sober driver, call a car service like Lyft, Uber or a taxi.
Even if you decide not to drive home, but instead sleep it off in your car, you risk being charged with a DUII if you have physical control of the car. If you’re above the legal BAC limit, be sure to slide over to the passenger seat or the back seat to sleep and remove your keys from the ignition. If you are unsure of what to do, don’t hesitate to call a taxi to take you home in order to avoid potential DUII charges in Oregon on Halloween, or any time you may be under the influence and unable to drive.
Be Safe This Halloween
At Nelson Law, we love Halloween and know you do, too. Be safe this Halloween by designating a sober driver and not driving while under the influence of intoxicants. Try to avoid driving during trick-or-treating hours if possible and drive slowly in neighborhoods and residential areas. Halloween displays can be distracting and divert your attention. Don’t text and drive, pay attention to pedestrians and have a plan for getting home safe.
Later this month, Nelson Law discusses common juvenile crimes that occur on Halloween and how a criminal defense attorney in Bend can help if your child gets into trouble.