It’s not as if there’s any shortage of ads, tweets, Facebook ads, PSAs, drink coasters, little printed messages on beer caddies, whatever. Everyone in Arizona knows they aren’t supposed to drink and drive anytime, including Halloween.
But last year they did it. They put on their their Jack Sparrow or Batman costumes, and they downed a bunch of zombies and had a great time till someone decided to get behind the wheel. Then it all went south, and 300 Halloween DUI offenders got arrested.
If 300 drivers got caught, that means that a lot of other drivers didn’t.
How many? Well, that depends on which statistic you like to read. The Journal Injury Prevention studied the relationship between BAC and drunk driving and found that the likelihood of being arrested with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .10% (.02 above the legal limit) was 1 in 200.
Let’s say that half of last year’s crop of Halloween DUI offenders had a BAC of .1% or higher, which is plausible. It was Halloween, after all. Then a total of 30,000 drunk drivers were on the road that night. That’s a pretty frightening number.
This is even more frightening: 2016 might not be any different. There are just as many warnings out, and people are just as well-educated about the dangers of drunk driving. The costumes will be different – Jon Snow, some weird clowns, and of course, a couple of presidential candidates will be popular. But the same mistake will be made.
One bright spot: more people are using rideshare services, and are aware of other designated driver services, so perhaps the numbers won’t be quite as bad.
How Do I Get Home Without a Halloween DUI?
If you’re out partying on Halloween, make a pact to drive sober no matter what. If you’re drinking, the National Directory of Designated Driver Services lists a number of companies who will get you and your car home if you need wake up in your own bed Tuesday morning.
Even better, make a plan now. Arrange your designated driver, and shower him or her with praise and swag in thanks for helping keep you alive to face another Halloween next year. You’ll be safer, and so will Phoenix.