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THP increasing DUI, distraction patrols on Halloween

Halloween is the single most dangerous day of the year for child pedestrians. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a child is twice as likely to be hit by a motor vehicle on Halloween than on any other day.

Part of this is simply because they're children, and they'll be out trick-or-treating. Despite being told to watch out for vehicles, kids often forget to check for oncoming cars before they enter the street. They also have greater trouble than adults at judging how fast a vehicle is coming towards them. Moreover, they may be wearing Halloween costumes that restrict their movement or vision.

During trick-or-treating hours, kids are even more excited and excitable than usual. They may dart out into the street, crossing to meet friends or to go to a brightly lit house. Kids are already smaller and more difficult to see than adults, even if they behave perfectly.

Halloween is a celebration for adults, too -- and that can mean drunk driving. If it does, the odds of someone hitting a child go way up.

Pedestrian fatalities are up this year in Tennessee

As of Oct. 7, according to WGNS News Radio, there were 104 pedestrian deaths in Tennessee this year. That's nine more than this time last year.

The good news is that last year there were no alcohol-related deaths on Halloween last year. There were, however, seven vehicular fatalities. And, the Tennessee State Patrol issued 398 speeding tickets and 83 citations for distracted driving, along with arresting nine people on suspicion of DUI.

"Our troopers will increase patrols in the evening and will conduct a variety of traffic enforcement initiatives to ensure a safe Halloween," a colonel with the state patrol said of this year's Halloween celebration. "There is simply zero tolerance for drunk, distracted or unrestrained drivers. We will be working hard to ensure that this is a safe Halloween for children and adults alike."

The THP is planning sobriety checkpoints, seat belt checkpoints, saturation patrols, and bar and tavern checks.

Make a safe travel plan this Halloween

Nobody wants to hit a child on Halloween night. Nobody wants to turn a night of celebration into one of tragedy.

You can enjoy your Halloween celebration with costumes, parties, and even drinking as long as you make a safe travel plan in advance. Plan for a sober driver. Take a Lyft or a taxi. Take public transportation. If you will be drinking, leave your car at home.

If you do get into trouble for drinking and driving, don't panic. Call an experienced DUI defense attorney right away.

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