Added Patrols Working to Deter Impaired Driving for Halloween

The scariest part of Halloween isn’t the spooky costumes and scary pranks; it’s alcohol- impaired drivers. If you think about driving drunk this Halloween, the Missoula Police Department has a message for you: Keep the party off the road. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

•    Nationwide, Halloween is a particularly deadly night because of the high number of impaired drivers on the roads.

•    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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.

•    From 2007-2011, 172 people, or 52 percent of all national fatalities occurring on Halloween night, lost their lives in an impaired driving-related crash.

•    Drunk-DrivingYoung men are particularly at risk of being involved in a traffic crash as a result of “buzzed” or impaired driving. Males ages 21-34 comprised almost half of all impaired drivers who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide during the 2011 Halloween period.

•    That’s why this Halloween state and local law enforcement will be out in full force cracking down on impaired drivers who haven’t gotten the message to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

With impaired driving, there’s no trick, and there’s no treat. The law makes it clear that driving while impaired has scary consequences.

•    Driving while impaired is a crime that seriously risks your safety and the safety of those around you. Whether you have had one too many or are way over the limit, drunk driving is not worth causing a traffic crash, serious injury or worse—death.

•    The legal and financial costs of driving while impaired can be significant. Drunk driving violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens

of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.

•    Refusing to take a breath test in many jurisdictions results in the loss of your driver’s license on the spot and the impoundment of your vehicle. Also, there’s the added embarrassment, humiliation, and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.

The additional patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation Selective Traffic

Enforcement Programs (STEP) grants.