Don't Become a Ghost this Halloween

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Halloween isn't just a fun night for trick-or-treaters anymore. More often than not, adults join in on celebrating the spooky holiday with their own festivities where alcohol is often served. If you plan on drinking this Halloween, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) wants you to keep in mind that one of the best choices you can make is to drive sober or designate a sober driver to get you home safely, so that the night ends on a good note for everyone involved.

"In addition to being illegal, driving while impaired also carries serious, irrevocable consequences," said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. "Not only are you risking the implications and costs of a DUI, but also the potential of seriously injuring or killing yourself or other innocent people, especially young trick-or-treaters. Take a few extra minutes to plan a safe night by designating a sober driver."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving under the influence is more prevalent on Halloween compared with the rest of the year. In 2012 alone, almost half (48 percent) of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. Unfortunately, each one of those preventable deaths occurred when drunk drivers failed to plan ahead.

"The California Highway Patrol (CHP) joins all law enforcement in encouraging you to enjoy the Halloween festivities, we just want you to enjoy them responsibly," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "If you plan to drink and drive, then make the responsible choice and designate a sober driver."

Whether walking door to door or heading to a party, parents and children need to take safety precautions as well. If walking, make sure everyone in your group is more visible by using light producing or reflective devices; you can see cars much better than they can see you. Cross only at crosswalks or corners and do so only when safe. Keep costumes short enough so you don't trip. If wearing a mask, lift or remove it while on or crossing a street.

OTS is offering the following important tips and prevention education to ensure a fun and safe Halloween for everyone. Remember, before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night.

Designate a sober driver before the fun begins; treat them to free non-alcoholic drinks and other perks by visiting a Designated Driver VIP or RADD Rewards bar or restaurant near you. Visit or for a list of locations with offers for designated sober drivers.

  • If you have been drinking, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as driving intoxicated. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
  • Use your community's sober ride program.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.

Keep an eye out for little ones in costume and pay extra attention to pedestrians, as they may be unaware of their surroundings. Trick-or-treaters - especially small children - can appear out of nowhere; drive cautiously.

If you know someone who is about to drive a vehicle or ride a motorcycle impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements.

If you're hosting a party, visit the OTS Facebook page at and click on the DDrink album for delicious, non-alcoholic recipes that you can make at home for all the designated drivers in attendance.

The California Office of Traffic Safety wishes you a happy and safe Halloween. Join us on Twitter at @OTS_CA or "like" us at and keep up with the latest traffic safety information. For more information on all OTS efforts, visit

CONTACT: Chris Cochran (916) 509-3063 California Office of Traffic Safety