Police have a simple message for people thinking about drinking and driving this Halloween: Keep the party off the road.
Officers around the region will be putting the brakes on drunk drivers with an aggressive enforcement effort, dubbed "Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over," the North Central Regional DUI Enforcement Program announced Thursday.
"The scariest part of Halloween is not the spooky costumes and scary pranks, it’s the impaired drivers," said Ofc. David Bentz, Exeter Twp. Police Dept. and the Berks County coordinator of the DUI program. "All too often, party=goers don’t plan ahead and choose to drive impaired, but a costume can’t disguise drunk driving."
Between 2007 and 2011, 52 percent of all accident fatalities across the country on Halloween night involved a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"If you celebrate with alcohol, you don’t belong behind the wheel," Bentz said. "A sober and safe ride after the party is the best treat you can give yourself and everyone else on the road this Halloween."
Police advise drinkers to designate a sober driver or use the Late Night Loop sober ride program, which provides late-night shuttle service to and from bars in the Reading area.