Spread the Word to Every Ghoul and Goblin: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Each year, millions of children and adults enjoy Halloween, known for its sweet treats and spooky parties. Leave the risky driving for the witches on brooms, and commit to sober driving Halloween night, and every night.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Nebraska Department of Transportation/Highway Safety Office are teaming up with Four Corners Health Department to remind everyone of the dangers of drunk driving. Halloween poses a dangerous threat to pedestrians, as more people are out at night on the hunt for candy. If your night involves alcohol, plan for a safe ride home. It’s never safe to drink and drive.

This year, Halloween falls on Thursday, so we may see extra parties into the weekend. Every person should plan their sober ride home before the party. Even one drink can make you impaired. Never put yourself, or others, at risk because you made the choice to drink and drive. Even one drink can be one too many. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

Between 2013 and 2017, there were 158 drunk-driving deaths on Halloween night. According to NHTSA, 42% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2013 to 2017 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. Younger drivers are most at risk. Even though it is illegal to use alcohol under age 21, those under the age of 21 had the highest percentage (45%) of deaths in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2017.

It is not legal anywhere in the U.S. to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Still, thousands die each year in drunk-driving-related crashes. In 2017, there were 10,874 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. The costs effect your wallet, too. If you’re caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time, lose your license and your car, and pay up to $10,000 in court costs, fines, car towing and repairs, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.

Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road. Drug and sleep impaired driving are both an increasing problem on our nation’s roads. If drivers are impaired by any means — alcohol, drugs, or lack of sleep — they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It is illegal in all states to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs. Driving while impaired is illegal, period. If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.

We want you to have a fun night out on Halloween, but to also stay safe and make good choices. There are many options available to drivers to help them get home safely if they have been drinking.

Party with a Plan

If you plan to head out for a night of Halloween partying, follow these simple tips for a safe and happy night:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one drink, choose a sober driver or plan to use public transit or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
  • Use a sober ride program.
  • Check NHTSA’s SaferRide Mobile App to allow users to find their location and call a taxi or a friend to pick them up.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away. Help to get your friend home safely.

Always remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.