CUMBERLAND — Through increased and targeted drunken-driving saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints throughout the Halloween weekend, state law enforcement agencies aim to arrest anyone who drives under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Alcohol continues to be a major factor in fatal crashes on Halloween. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, which is illegal in every state. In Maryland in 2008, there were more than 82 alcohol-related crashes and five alcohol-related fatalities during the Halloween weekend.

Throughout the state, drivers will see an intensive amount of law enforcement officials conducting sobriety checkpoints and increased patrol vehicles actively searching for drunken drivers in areas that have traditionally experienced high numbers of incidents.

“The costumes may hide your identity at a Halloween party,” said president of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and chief superintendent of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police George Johnson. “But should you decide to get behind the wheel of an automobile after consuming alcohol, be forewarned that there is no masking of impairment.”

Pedestrians, especially young children, are particularly vulnerable on Halloween weekend. With many youth out after dark and oftentimes dressed in dark clothing, law enforcement will be especially diligent in ensuring motorists are aware of pedestrians. In 2008, there were 31 pedestrians injured in motor vehicle crashes and one fatality.

“Our law enforcement community is on high alert this weekend not only for pedestrian violations but also for motorists who compromise the safety of pedestrians,” said president of the Maryland Sheriffs Association Mike Evans.

Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin:

• Before drinking, designate a sober driver.

• Otherwise, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.

• If you happen to see a drunken driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911.



BY THE NUMBERS



• In 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across

the nation on Halloween night involved a drunken

driver. In Maryland, there were more than 82

alcohol-related crashes and five alcohol-related

fatalities during the Halloween weekend.

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