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Citrus Heights police plan tickets-not-treats this Halloween

Warning that October 31 is statistically “one of the most deadly nights of the year,” the Citrus Heights Police Department announced it will be deploying extra officers to the streets as part of a “DUI Saturation Patrol” operation this weekend, according to a press release from the Department.

Drive sober or get pulled over“We want people to remember: like ‘Trick-or-Treat;’ ‘Drink-or-Drive.’ One or the other, but never both,” said CHPD Sergeant Dave Gutierrez in a written statement to the media. “Before you take your first sip of alcohol on October 31, figure out who your designated sober driver will be.”

Police say additional officers will be out looking for signs of alcohol or drug impairment beginning Halloween night and extending through the weekend, adding that drinking-while-walking can be “just as dangerous” as drinking-while-driving.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that among fatalities involving pedestrians in 2012, 34 percent involved the pedestrian being above the legal limit for blood alcohol content, while only 14 percent involved the driver being drunk. The data also reveals pedestrian fatalities doubled on Halloween in 2012, with a total of 54 deaths that night.

Reminding drivers that “buzzed driving is drunk driving,” the Department said there were 10,322 people killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2012, with nearly half involving a drunk driver. Police label these as “preventable deaths,” resulting from when drunk drivers fail to plan ahead and designate a sober driver.

In an attempt to curb deaths and injuries from alcohol-related crashes, Citrus Heights police recommend designating a sober driver, reporting drunk drivers and offering to drive someone home who may be impaired. The Department also advises drivers to be extra cautious of the increased level of pedestrians Halloween night.

The local effort to curb drunk driving is part of a regional and national Avoid DUI Taskforce effort, funded by grants from the NHTSA.

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