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Saturday Halloween escalates dangerous drinking trends

Media Type: Press Release

Infographic highlights risks of mixing boos and booze

DENVER—A report that tracks the drinking behavior of nearly 450,000 DUI offenders 24/7 shows that when Halloween falls on a Saturday, drinking violations skyrocket 4½ times compared to the average increase when Halloween falls on any other day of the week.

The data, compiled and released by Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS), shows patterns in behavior for DUI offenders who were monitored for drinking with transdermal ankle monitors that test every 30 minutes, 24/7. The majority of those offenders are considered to be high-risk, repeat drunk drivers who knew they were being monitored and that there would be consequences, including incarceration. The data looked at offenders monitored beginning in 2003 and residing in 49 states, Canada, and the U.K.

According to AMS vice president Lou Sugo, the findings are part of trending problems with alcohol misuse and Halloween. “These individuals are being monitored every 30 minutes, and they know they’re going to be caught,” says Sugo. “You can imagine the rate of drinking for those who aren’t being monitored.” AMS has released a Halloween Infographic to call attention to the dangers and risks of binge drinking and DUIs on Halloween.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that between 2009 and 2013, 43% of all traffic-related fatalities occurring on Halloween resulted from a drunk driving-related crash. In addition, 26% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involve a drunk driver—a number that has increased in the past years and that is particularly frightening with more than 41 million children expected to be out trick-or-treating this year.

NHTSA is publicizing the data as part of their ongoing Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over awareness campaign. Officials caution that sobriety checkpoints will be prominent on Halloween, which has become one of the deadliest days of the year for drunk driving. “When people drink they generally make bad choices, and deciding to get behind the wheel of a car is just one of the potential issues,” says Sugo.

Some Tips Before Heading out to Celebrate Halloween

  • Plan ahead! Don’t wait until you start drinking to figure out how you’re getting home.
  • Add contact information for local cab or car services into your phone or keep it handy. Many companies even offer special fares during Halloween, so check ahead.
  • Download and pre-populate your information for ride-sharing apps to make it easy to hail a ride at the end of the evening.
  • Identify a Designated Driver for the evening and STICK WITH IT. If plans change, have a back-up, such as one of the options above.
  • Make sure children are wearing lights and/or reflective clothing when they’re out trick-or-treating.

About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS)
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) is the world’s leading provider of alcohol testing technologies for the criminal justice industry. The company’s flagship Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology, launched in 2003, revolutionized the way courts, agencies and treatment providers monitor and manage alcohol-involved offenders. In 2013 the company launched the SCRAM Systems suite of electronic monitoring technologies, which includes SCRAM Remote Breath®, SCRAM GPS™, and SCRAM House Arrest®. AMS employs 190 people worldwide and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.