Halloween revelers warned: ‘Avoid the 7’

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Halloween is a much-loved fall tradition that is enjoyed by all ages. But irresponsible celebrating can quickly spoil all of the fun, according to the Avoid the 7 Placer County DUI Coalition. The coalition includes law-enforcement partners from each of Placer County’s police departments, Placer County Sheriff’s Department, CHP and California State Parks. “With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, we want to make sure revelers aren’t taking the party to the roadways, putting trick-or-treaters and responsible motorists at risk,” said Lincoln Police Chief Brian Vizzusi. “Law-enforcement officers throughout the region will be out in full force arresting and removing drunk drivers from our roads.” Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) in 2008 involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. One foolish decision can turn a fun Halloween into a real-life horror story. But there are simple precautions partygoers can take such as designating a sober driver in advance or taking a taxi. The Avoid the 7 Placer County DUI Coalition will be deploying additional DUI patrols on overtime beginning 8 p.m. Friday with funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The coalition also recommends these simple tips: • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin. • Before drinking, designate a sober driver. • If you’re buzzed, impaired and haven’t designated a sober driver, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely. • If you see a drunk driver on the road, immediately call 911. The Placer County Avoid DUI taskforce will kick off the weekend enforcement effort with a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint at 8 p.m. Friday. The checkpoint will be at Stanford Ranch and Sunset in Placer County. Officers from the California Highway Patrol, Auburn Police Department, Rocklin Police Department, Roseville Police Department, Lincoln Police Department, State Parks, and the Placer County Sheriff’s Department make up the taskforce. For more information, visit online ~ Staff report