Designate A Sober Driver For Halloween Parties; Holiday Sees Increase In DUI Crashes

halloween lit pumpkins and candy

With Halloween next week, the Automobile Club of Southern California reminds adults attending costume parties this weekend and on the holiday to select a designated sober driver prior to enjoying Halloween gatherings. While Halloween has long been known as a holiday for children, millions of adults participate in the festivities.


Approximately 158 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year with others, according to the National Retail Federation.  Nearly one-third will throw or attend a party.  On average, celebrants are expected to spend nearly $80 on decorations, costumes and candy as total spending on the holiday is expected to reach $6.9 billion, according to the NRF.


“Halloween partygoers must remember to make a plan to get to and from their festivities sober and safely,” said Anita Lorz Villagrana, the Auto Club’s community programs and traffic safety manager. “Adults should select a designated driver prior to drinking during Halloween festivities. And please remember not to serve alcohol to anyone under 21.”


In 2010 in California, 25 percent of all highway fatalities and injuries on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 6 a.m. Nov. 1) were alcohol-related.  That rate is more than twice California's usual level of drinking and driving crashes – 11 percent.  


To keep the roadways safe on Halloween, the Auto Club offers partygoers these tips:

  • Designate a sober driver; don’t drive if you’ve been drinking.
  • If you have been drinking, call a cab or have a sober friend or relative drive you home.
  • If you cannot find a safe ride home, stay where you are until you are completely sober.
  • If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests do not drive impaired.
  • Don’t serve anyone under 21 alcoholic beverages.
  • When driving, watch your speed. Motorists should slow down in neighborhoods, preferably five miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.


To keep trick-or-treaters safe:

  • Watch for children crossing the street. Children may not be paying attention to traffic and might cross mid-block or between parked cars. Motorists should scan far ahead in traffic to try to anticipate their actions.
  • Look out for children in dark clothing. Children may be difficult to see if they are wearing dark costumes or masks. Be aware that masks may hinder a child’s peripheral vision, and they may not be able to see a vehicle.
  • Pay close attention to all traffic signs, signals and markings.