Poughkeepsie... Halloween is generally seen as fun time of year where the annual appearance of ghosts, witches and goblins is enjoyed by all. Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus reminds area motorists that Halloween has also become one of the most dangerous nights of the year on the roadway because of those who choose to drink and drive. Law Enforcement throughout the State and County will have additional patrols and sobriety checks on Halloween as part of New York’s Halloween STOP-DWI Crackdown to protect all who use our streets and roadways.
"Children and families will be out on our community streets and neighborhoods for a night of fun and festivity, so I urge all motorists to use extra caution when driving,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “Law enforcement agencies will be out in force on Halloween to get out the clear message that our community will not tolerate risking children’s lives because of drinking and driving.”
This year, Halloween is at the end of the work week and the beginning of a weekend, increasing the likelihood of parties and events. Adult Halloween parties have grown in popularity in recent years and many of these include the consumption of alcohol and the potential for impaired driving. This presents an obvious risk to families who take to the streets as pedestrians on the same evening. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 44% of highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcyclist who was legally impaired.
Therefore, law enforcement officials and traffic safety advocates are taking the matter with great seriousness. According to William Johnson, Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program coordinator, “This statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown has one simple message: If you plan on drinking, we strongly recommend you find safe and sober transportation.”
For those who plan on consuming alcohol during Halloween activities, the following tips are strongly recommended, including;
Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys;
Should you become impaired, call a taxi or sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely; and
If you see a drunk driver, notify law enforcement immediately.
“Thank you to all of our local law enforcement agencies who will be out making Halloween safe for our children and families. Remember, Don’t Drink and Drive. It is not worth the risk,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
The Dutchess County STOP DWI Program’s mission is to deter drunk/drugged driving through enhanced enforcement, prosecution, rehabilitation, and education services.