KHQ Spokane told a scary story about Halloween night recently -- the true tale was about the dangers drunk driving accidents can present on Halloween night.
In recent years, the risks of drunk driving accidents on October 31 have been significant. From 2011 to 2015, 45 percent of all traffic deaths on Halloween and 23 percent of all fatal Halloween pedestrian accidents involved a driver impaired by alcohol, according to studies reported on by KHQ. New data from DUI offenders also shows alcohol violations over the 2016 Halloween weekend are expected to be 4.5 times higher than typical weekends.
As a driver, this story should send chills down your spine (not to mention the worry it will cause parents). Parents can't always ensure their children are not endangered by intoxicated drivers, but drivers can make Halloween pedestrian accidents less common by driving sober. Drivers should do this, because causing a pedestrian accident could cost them everything.
If you cause a Halloween pedestrian accident because you are intoxicated, you have a lot to lose. Consequences of causing an accident include:
- Guilt: If you hurt or kill a child, you are going to have to live with this on your conscience for the rest of your life.
- Loss of Freedom: If you are arrested for impaired driving, you could face a long jail sentence if convicted. Just recently, a Washington State woman was sentenced to six years for a DUI accident, according to Pekin Times.
- Loss of your driver's license: A DUI can mean you lose your license to drive. The length of your license suspension will vary based on factors like whether you had prior offenses.
- A civil lawsuit: If you cause a pedestrian injury on Halloween or if you hurt another motorist, you could be held legally liable for the damages. If you have insurance, your insurance company should defend you. However, if a judgement exceeds policy limits, you could be on the hook personally and your assets could be at risk. You may also need to go to trial to defend yourself, which can be stressful and difficult.
- Loss of financial stability: You can expect to pay criminal defense fees to deal with the criminal charges you face if you cause a DUI accident on Halloween. You can also expect to find yourself with very costly car insurance if and when you get your license back. Court fees and costs are also an issue. You may face financial trouble for a long time to come because of your Halloween DUI.
Don't let a bad decision to drive drunk on Halloween ruin your life, or cost kids their lives. Make the smart choice to stay sober, avoid consequences, and stay away from legal liability.