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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, October 31, 2011

Drunk Drivers Can’t Hide Behind Halloween Costumes

Drivers Beware: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

As party-going ghosts and goblins celebrate Halloween this October, the Avoid the 12, Santa Barbara County DUI Task Force reminds everyone to keep the party off the road.


The Santa Barbara and Lompoc Police Departments will be providing additional officers to work DUI Saturation Patrols in Goleta for Halloween weekend. They will be out in force looking to stop and arrest ‘Drunk’ or ‘Buzzed’ drivers. Additionally, every patrol officer and traffic officer on routine patrol countywide will be on alert for the tell-tale signs of impairment.

“There isn’t a Halloween costume clever enough to hide an impaired driver who’s made the poor decision to get behind the wheel,” said Senior Deputy Jeff Farmer of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office. “Whether you’ve had one too many or way too many it is just not worth the risk. Remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”

Nighttime is an especially dangerous time to be on the road. But this weekend and Halloween night is one of the deadliest times of the year for impaired drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 48 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) in 2009 involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher.

“Far too many people spend hours and hours preparing their Halloween costumes and party plans,” said Senior Deputy Farmer. “But too often impaired drivers never plan ahead for their Designated Driver and end up making the roads scarier than a horror show.”

DUI Checkpoints along with regularly scheduled high visibility DUI enforcement serves as a proven deterrent with the goal of removing impaired drivers and heightened awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The Avoid the 12 DUI Task Force recommends these simple tips for a safe Halloween celebration:

Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

Before drinking, designate a sober, ‘Non Drinking’ driver.

If you’re impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to Report Drunk Drivers, Call 911.

And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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