Halloween isn’t just about trick or treating and bobbing for apples! On a night of costumed toddlers filling bags of candy, many adults consider alcohol the real “treat” of the night.
FindLaw.com reminds us that Halloween may have an ever scarier trick in store for adults: an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Though Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, there will be a large number of Halloween parties and other festivities that offer plenty of opportunities for celebrants to get themselves into downright spooky legal predicaments. And with potential criminal penalties for DUI arrests including jail time, costly fines, and a driver’s license suspension, avoiding a DUI is certainly in your best interest.
How can you do yourself (and everyone else) a favor and avoid a Halloween DUI? Here are a few suggestions:
- Watch your drinking. The most common form of DUI is an alcohol-related DUI. Any time you drive with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit of 0.08 (or in certain cases, even when your BAC is below that limit) you are at risk of being cited for DUI, even if you don’t necessarily feel “drunk.” If you are at a Halloween party, be sure to moderate your drinking, especially if you are planning on driving home afterwards.
- Don’t do drugs (prescriptions count too). Drugged driving may also result in a DUI arrest. Even when the drugs are prescription drugs prescribed to you by a physician, any time your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by the effects of a drug, you are at risk for a DUI arrest.
- Don’t wear a mask while driving. Police typically need a good reason to pull you over, such as observing you breaking a traffic law or driving recklessly. Wearing a mask that obscures your vision while driving may provide an officer the reason he needs to conduct a traffic stop and assess your sobriety.
- Get a ride instead of driving. If you do decide to drink on Halloween, the easiest and most surefire way to avoid a DUI is to simply avoid driving at all. Instead, consider calling a taxi, using a rideshare service, walking, or taking public transit. Although not being behind the wheel is certainly not license to overindulge on alcohol or drugs, it does ensure that you won’t have to worry about being arrested for DUI.
And one more reminder: Halloween and other holidays offer law enforcement a perfect opportunity to set up DUI checkpoints, which are often announced ahead of time. In case you’re wondering: Yes, these checkpoints are legal (if conducted properly), and trying to challenge the legality of one in court is a long shot.