Drive sober – or get pulled over this Halloween

Photo of a glass of alcohol, car keys and handcuffsThis Halloween, the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety is cracking down on impaired drivers with an aggressive Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort that gives fair warning to all party goers: keep the party off the road.

“Driving while alcohol or drug impaired is deadly, it is illegal and it will get you pulled over and arrested this Halloween,” Cmdr. Donald Rodman said.

“If you want to stay safe and out of jail this Halloween, make a plan to get home without driving if you’re impaired.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) from 2009 to 2013 were in crashes involving drunk drivers.

On Halloween Night alone, 119 people lost their lives during that same period.

Children out trick-or-treating and the parents or others accompanying them are also at risk, as 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night (2009-2013) involved drunk drivers.

In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes (crashes involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol content of .08 or above) in the United States. Even if you drive impaired and aren’t killed or seriously injured, you could end up paying as much $18,000 for a DUI.

Huskie Safe LineThe Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign works to keep us all safe on the road and urges everyone to follow these simple tips:

  • Plan a safe way to get home before you attend the party.
  • Designate a sober driver, take public transportation, a car service, or a call a sober friend of family member to get home.
  • Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as driving impaired. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program, Huskie Safe Line. The Huskie Safe Line provides a shuttle ride service from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. during late night hours after the Huskie Bus Line stops running. This free service is available to NIU students, faculty and staff as well as community members with disabilities. Riders must present a valid NIU One Card or Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card to use the service and are allowed to bring a guest with them. The shuttle ride service travels a fixed route with 35 pick-up and drop-off locations for your convenience. Riders can simply go to the closest stop and wait for the van by the sign that says “Huskie Safe Line.”
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement as soon as it’s safe to do so.
  • If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely.

The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Illinois Department of Transportation. For more information, call (815) 753-1212 or email niupd@niu.edu.

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