Adult celebrations turned last
Halloween into a nightmare
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Safe driving urged
[OCT. 29, 2004]
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois
Department of Transportation Secretary Timothy W. Martin called on
motorists to celebrate the upcoming Halloween weekend responsibly,
reminding everyone this is a time for celebration, not tragedy.
Martin joined transportation and law enforcement officials around
the nation in urging people to not let Halloween turn into a
nightmare and to designate a sober driver before attending any
is on a Sunday this year, which will mean holiday parties throughout
the weekend," Martin said. "It's a great occasion for celebrations,
but don't let it become a nightmare by driving impaired, going to
jail or worse -- killing a loved one, yourself or an innocent child
Halloween is a holiday that already has a high rate of
alcohol-related crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration, two-thirds of all highway fatalities in the
nation during Halloween 2003 involved alcohol.
Last year, Halloween was on a
Friday, and in Illinois the number of people killed in
alcohol-related traffic crashes during the holiday weekend was more
than 2½ times greater than the 2003 daily average for
alcohol-related fatalities. With 17 total fatalities overall in
Illinois during last year's Halloween weekend, it was even more
deadly than the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holiday weekends.
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"Halloween has always been meant for
kids, but more and more adults are celebrating the holiday with
parties, and I would urge everyone to celebrate responsibly," Martin
added. "Driving under the influence is a deadly crime. Last year,
502 people died as a result of someone getting behind the wheel
after they had too much to drink. This Halloween, don't let it be
Here are some simple tips if you are
hosting or going to a party:
- Make sure there are plenty of
nonalcoholic refreshments on hand.
- If you think a friend is about to
drive impaired, take the keys and don't let them leave your sight.
- Plan ahead and designate a
- If impaired, call a taxi, take
mass transit, call a friend or remain where you are until you've a
chance to sleep it off until you are sober.
Department of Transportation news release]