According to 2011 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, nationwide 38 percent of all traffic fatalities on Halloween night involved a driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, police said. That number jumped to 44 percent during Halloween weekend, or the weekend preceding the holiday, according to the Sheriff's Office.
As a result, sheriff’s deputies will begin additional traffic patrols this weekend, and urge motorists to follow these tips to insure safe Halloween travel:
- Designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
- If you’re impaired, call a taxi, a sober friend or family member to help get you home safely;
- Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement.
Additionally, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office encourages parental supervision and involvement during trick-or-treat festivities. Specifically, it is important for parents to be aware of the following safety rules for their children when they are trick-or-treating:
- Know your trick-or-treaters' route;
- Take a flashlight;
- Be sure costumes, shoes, and treat bags are safe;
- Remind kids not to enter strangers' homes or cars;
- Set rules about not eating treats until kids get home, and inspect all treats before allowing kids to eat them;
- Candy that has been opened should be thrown away, and homemade treats or fruit inspected closely;
- Remember drivers have a hard time seeing people, especially at dusk;
- Never cross the street from between parked cars;
- Watch open flames from jack-o-lanterns as they can catch costumes and long wigs on fire;
- Make sure that fake knives, swords, and guns are made from cardboard or other flexible materials to avoid accidental injury or worse, have them mistaken for the real thing.
It is also important to ensure that your home is safe and accessible to trick-or-treaters. As adults there are some very simple things we can do to make the evening safe for everyone.
- Turn on your porch light.
- Move lit jack-o-lanterns off the porch where kids get bunched up if they are trick-or-treating in groups.
- Remove objects from your yard that might cause a slip, trip or fall.
- Drive slowly all evening; you never know what creature(s) may suddenly cross your path.
To promote safety and community awareness during the annual trick-or-treat holiday, Sheriff’s Deputies will be conducting additional patrols through residential developments. Several of those patrols will be conducted jointly, with Agents from the Maryland Department of Public Safety’s Office of Community Supervision riding with Sheriff’s Deputies as they conduct checks of registered sex offenders. The Office of Community Supervision is requiring offenders currently serving parole or supervised probation to remain at home and not answer their door to trick-or-treaters between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Halloween night, leaving their porch lights off and displaying a sign which states “No Candy”.Residents are asked to report any suspicious or criminal activity to the sheriff’s office or local police agency.