It will be dark, it could be raining, and drivers as well as pedestrians will be distracted — and some will be impaired.
“On Halloween, the real horrors occur out on the road when people choose to drive impaired,” said Undersheriff Gary Simpson.
Impaired driving is a choice — a preventable one, he added. “We want to remind all Kitsap County drivers that if you’ve had any alcohol to drink or have used any drugs, you cannot drive.”
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reminds drivers of those precious trick-or-treater that there are always other options: a designated, sober driver or a taxi. That designated driver will be your friend for life, as he or she may save you from a tragedy.
In the past 10 years, 13 fatalities have happened in Washington state on Halloween, two of those in Kitsap County.
Here are some safety tips from law-enforcement officials:
- Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night; have a designated driver or get a taxi.
- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as impaired driving. Get a sober friend to walk you home.
- Dress in bright or reflective clothing.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 911.
- If you know of someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.
In Kitsap County, the increased DUI patrols are funded through a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC). The Kitsap County Target Zero Task
Force hopes to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2030 through education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical services.
Last year, Kitsap County fatalities were reduced by 68 percent, from 21 deaths in 2012 to eight in 2013. The task force reminds everyone: Never drink and drive, don’t text and drive, wear your seatbelt, and whether walking or driving, please pay attention to the road.
For more information, visit www.wtsc.wa.gov.