Impaired driving, vandalism, and car thefts increase on Halloween night.

Law Enforcement Agencies Wary of Halloween's Tricks

Vandalism, car thefts, and impaired driving increase on the spookiest night of the year.

The Oregon State Police, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other law enforcement agencies are urging drivers to be careful on Halloween, and their advice goes beyond merely being watchful for young trick-or-treaters who may be crossing streets in the dark. OSP joined with Oregon county and local law enforcement agencies and the Oregon Department of Transportation included a warning about impaired driving in their annual Halloween safety message.

Halloween night is one of the deadliest nights of the year for crashes involving impaired drivers, according to the agencies, which noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported from 2007 to 2011, 52 percent of all national fatalities occurring on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

There were two traffic fatalities in Oregon last Halloween after three consecutive years without one. According to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, 90 percent of the fatalities on Halloween night from 1998 to 2008 occurred in alcohol- and/or drug-involved traffic crashes. "Plan your outing in advance with a designated sober driver to avoid the serious consequences that come with driving while impaired," said Capt. Ted Phillips, director of Oregon State Police Patrol Services Division.

Key recommendations from the Texas and Oregon agencies are for drivers to slow down, avoid distractions, buckle up, and never drive impaired.

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