Dover – Halloween is a special fall tradition, but many are unaware that it has become known as much for impaired driving crashes as it has for trick-or treating by children. Many adults now dress up too, going to house parties or local restaurants and bars which have special activities. Unfortunately, too many adults choose to drink alcohol at these events and then drive. In fact, in 2008, 58% of all highway fatalities nationwide on Halloween night were alcohol-related. That’s why the Office of Highway Safety is stepping up planned DUI enforcement activities under the 2009 Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign this weekend.
“With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, we don’t want revelers taking the party to the roadways, putting trick-or-treaters and responsible motorists at risk,” said Andrea Summers, Community Relations Officer for the Office of Highway Safety. Last year 47 individuals were arrested for DUI in Delaware on Halloween weekend.
Five sobriety checkpoints are being scheduled for the coming weekend, along with DUI saturation patrols. The New Castle County DUI Task Force will conduct an 8 hour checkpoint in the Wilmington area to coincide with the popular Halloween Loop. The checkpoints are scheduled for:
Friday Oct. 30th – Wilmington (NcCo DUI Task Force)
Smyrna (Smyrna PD)
Harrington (Harrington PD)
Saturday Oct. 31st – Millsboro (Millsboro PD)
Clayton (Clayton PD)
Seaford ( Seaford PD – DUI patrols)
OHS is providing the following tips if you’re going out this weekend:
·Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
·Before drinking, please designate a sober driver;
·If you’re impaired, and haven’t designated a sober driver, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
·If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911
Sixteen individuals were arrested for DUI last weekend (Oct. 23rd) at checkpoints conducted by the New Castle County DUI Task Force and the Georgetown Police Department. This brings the total number of DUI arrests for the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign since its July 2nd launch to 294. In addition to Friday night’s 16 DUI arrests, officers cited 3 minors for underage drinking violations, apprehended 9 wanted individuals, made 6 drug arrests, 5 felony arrests, seized one weapon, issued 2 seat belt citations, 2 child restraint citation, and 63 citations for various other traffic violations.
Checkpoint Strikeforce is a regional sobriety checkpoint campaign aimed at arresting DUI offenders and deterring others from drinking and driving.