Halloween weekend in US will see scary jump in DUIs

Halloween drivingDENVER Halloween has a reputation as one of the most alcohol-fueled days of the year, and issues aren’t limited to just October 31. New data from 500,000 DUI offenders monitored 24/7 for drinking estimates that this year alcohol violations on the Saturday before Halloween will be 4½ times higher than a typical weekend. Drinking violations on the holiday itself are also expected to jump 19 percent compared to average.

Compiled by Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS), the data looked at behavior patterns for high-risk, repeat drunk-driving defendants who were monitored for drinking with transdermal ankle bracelets. Because the testing protocol is automated and takes place every 30 minutes, 24/7, it allows social researchers to examine trends in the behaviors of alcohol offenders.

“The people we monitor have been court-ordered not to drink, know they’ll get caught, and know there will be consequences, including jail time. So you can imagine the rate of drinking for those who aren’t being monitored,” says Kathleen Brown, AMS spokesperson.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that between 2011 and 2015, 45 percent of road fatalities on Halloween resulted from drunk driving. Brown notes, “That’s what makes holidays likeHalloween so dangerous. When people drink, they make bad choices, and injuries and fatalities skyrocket,” says Brown.

Resources for a safe and sober Halloween
AMS publishes holiday-related data each year about the dangers of binge drinking and drunk driving. For 2016 AMS has launched a Safe and Sober Halloween Resource Center to provide communities with tools to drive awareness about these problems. Resources include an infographic, alcohol safety tips for hosting a monsterHalloween bash, social graphics, and links to additional drinking and driving safety resources.

The Scary Truth About Halloween and Drinking Infographic includes the following statistics:

  • NHTSA reports that between 2011 and 2015, 45 percent of all traffic fatalities and 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • Children are two times more likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
  • Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau estimate that more than 41 million children will be out to trick-or-treat.
  • AMS estimates that drinking violations for DUI offenders sentenced to 24/7 alcohol monitoring will increase 19 percent on Halloween and 80 percent on the Saturday before.
  • The National Retail Federation reports that U.S. shoppers will spend $82.93 each on average onHalloween, and that 58.3 million adults plan to throw or attend a Halloween party.

Alcohol and driving safety tips for Halloween

  • Plan ahead! Don’t wait until you start drinking to figure out how you’re getting home.
  • Add contact information for local cab or car services into your phone or keep it handy. Many companies even offer special fares during Halloween, so check ahead.
  • Download and pre-populate your information for ride-sharing apps to make it easy to hail a ride at the end of the evening. Even with surge pricing, your ride will be thousands of dollars cheaper than a DUI.
  • Identify a designated driver for the evening and STICK WITH IT. If plans change, have a back-up, such as one of the options above.
  • Halloween poses extra hazards even for sober drivers. Slow down, watch out for trick-or-treaters, and give pedestrians the right-of-way.

About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS)
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) is the world’s leading provider of alcohol testing technologies for the criminal justice industry. The company’s flagship Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology, launched in 2003, revolutionized the way courts, agencies and treatment providers monitor and manage alcohol-involved offenders. In 2013 the company launched the SCRAM Systems suite of electronic monitoring technologies, which includes SCRAM Remote Breath®, SCRAM GPS®, and SCRAM House Arrest®. AMS employs 240 people worldwide and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado. – PRNewswire

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