FHP reminds drivers: Buzzed driving is drunk driving

~ Don’t be another scary statistic this Halloween ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is urging motorists and pedestrians to exercise an abundance of caution this Halloween by being safe, sober, and seen. Motorists should always use caution when behind the wheel and never drive impaired as buzzed driving is drunk driving.

“On Halloween, communities will see an increase in pedestrians on the roadways during the evening hours where visibility is low,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.“Motorists and parents must remain alert and vigilant to ensure everyone has a happy and safe holiday.”

FHP and law enforcement partners are working to make the Halloween holiday safe for everyone, discouraging impaired driving and increasing visibility of law enforcement on the roadways.

“There will be zero tolerance for impaired drivers this Halloween,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the FHP. “If you plan to celebrate with alcohol this Halloween, never get behind the wheel – always designate a sober driver.”

Children will focus on the excitement of Halloween and forget about safety. FLHSMV strongly encourages parents, caregivers, and motorists to take extra care in safeguarding children. Follow these tips to avoid a scare this Halloween:

Motorists:

  • Pay attention and reduce distractions; turn off the radio and put down the phone.
  • Slow down and use caution. Costumes may impair a child’s ability to see and hear approaching cars, preventing them from getting out of the roadway quickly.
  • Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks.
  • Enter and exit driveways slowly and always check behind your vehicle before backing.
  • Keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters who may suddenly dart into traffic from between parked cars.

Parents and Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Be seen! Carry a flashlight, wear bright clothing and put reflective tape on costumes and goody bags.
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible. If sidewalks are not available, walk facing traffic as close to the curb as possible.
  • Remind children to never run out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Be aware of surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or text while walking.
  • Children should not trick-or-treat unsupervised. Walk with your trick-or-treaters and hold the hands of young children. Review pedestrian safety with teens if they trick-or-treat without supervision.

For more Halloween safety tips, visit FLHSMV’s website.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The department is leading the way to A Safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about FLHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook. For safe driving tips and techniques, download the official Florida Driver License Handbook.

This year, the FLHSMV celebrates its 50th anniversary and its Division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) commemorates its 80th year. Learn more at flhsmv.gov/behindthedrive.