Boo! Halloween roads are scary for motorists and pedestrians — here’s why

Heather Willard

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Oct. 27, 2022

(Douglas County, Colo.) The Colorado Department of Transportation warns motorists to stay sober behind the wheel after ranking Halloween as the worst holiday for DUI arrests.

A 2019 study based on four decades of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found pedestrian fatalities are 43% higher on Halloween.

CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies across the state plan increased DUI enforcement for the Halloween weekend through Nov. 1.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Lone Tree and Castle Rock Police Departments, will participate in increased visible patrols.

According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the Halloween period has more DUI arrests than any other holiday during the year.

From 2019-2021, there were 2,187 DUI arrests during the two weeks prior to Halloween in addition to the holiday weekend.

CDOT data shows 16 impaired crashes in Douglas County this year and lists the county with the seventh most crashes this year. Adams County is first (77 crashes) followed by Denver (64) and Arapahoe Counties (61).

CDOT data also shows that Douglas County reported two crashes involving a pedestrian, which is tied with Eagle and Larimer Counties for the county with the fifth most such crashes.

Adams County is first for pedestrian and vehicle crashes (11 crashes), followed by Denver (10) and Arapahoe (7). Many serious injury or fatal pedestrian crashes occur after dark, according to CDOT data.

“Every holiday brings the likelihood of more impaired drivers on our roads, and we take our role in preventing crashes and fatalities seriously,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Festivities are all fun and games until people become reckless and lives are put in danger. Keep it fun but keep it safe. Get a sober ride.”

From Jan. 1 to Oct. 4, there were 495 fatal crashes on Colorado roadways. Officials believe 35% of 2022 crashes involve impaired drivers. Early data from the Colorado Crash Data dashboard shows that 25-34-year-old drivers have the highest number of fatalities with suspected alcohol impairment.

“Driving under the influence of any substance puts you and others unnecessarily in harm’s way,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT’s Office of Transportation safety director.

“With trick-or-treaters and more pedestrians on our roadways, drivers need to consider who could be affected by their decision to drive impaired. Be smart and never drive after drinking alcohol or consuming cannabis. If you do, it could land you in jail.”

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

Broomfield, CO

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