DUI patrols stepped up for Halloween

NORWALK - If you think a Halloween costume will disguise your drunk or drug-impaired driving, think again.That's the message put out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department this week, which is deploying additional officers on DUI saturation patrols to nab impaired drivers this weekend and through Halloween night. "Local revelers should be aware that their Halloween disguises won't make them invisible to the police, sheriff or CHP officers who will crack down on drunk and drug-impaired drivers throughout the region with an aggressive drive sober or get pulled over enforcement effort," said Glendora police chief Rob Castro. In fact, Castro noted, it's law enforcement officers who are more likely to be "invisible" to partygoers who have had too many drinks or taken drugs before driving. "If you really want to be scared this Halloween, try getting pulled over by a police car that suddenly appears out of nowhere," Castro said. Nighttime is always a dangerous time on the road, but Halloween can be particularly scary if you get behind the wheel drunk or find yourself around a drunk driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41 percent of all highway fatalities throughout the nation during the Halloween period in 2010 (6 p.m. Oct. 29 - 6 a.m. Nov. 1) involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. "The scariest parts of Halloween aren't the spooky costumes and scary pranks," said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. "It's a fact that too often drivers don't plan ahead and end up turning reality into something much worse than the worst horror movie." To keep safe this Halloween, law enforcement officials recommended the following tips: *Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin *If you are taking prescribed medication, never mix with alcohol *Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home *If you're impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely *Use your community's sober ride program *If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 Funding for the extra saturation patrols is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

********** Published: October 25, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 28