More than 40 percent of the fatalities in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween in 2005 involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In fact, 41 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation from 6 a.m. on Halloween night until 6 a.m. the following morning in 2005 involved a driver or a motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.
On Friday, Putnam County law enforcement agencies announced plans for an aggressive crackdown on impaired drivers this Halloween.
"Make no mistake, our message is simple. Drunk driving, over the limit under arrest," Greencastle Police Chief Tom Sutherlin said. "If we catch you driving impaired this Halloween, we will arrest you. No exceptions. No excuses.
"We will be out in force conducting sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and other activities to save lives by getting more drunk drivers off our roadways."
Impaired driving is no accident -- nor is it a victimless crime. In 2005, nearly 13,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher, according to NHTSA.
"Drunk driving is not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant," Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said. "Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, big attorney fees, unpaid time away from work, and dozens of other expenses."
Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state. Yet, too many people still ignore the law. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, more than 1.4 million people were arrested for driving under the influence in 2004.
"Don't let your Halloween turn into a nightmare," Putnam County Sheriff Mark Frisbie said. "Remember, we will be watching."