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Halloween Drinking, Driving & DUIs: The Statistics Will Spook You

Halloween Drinking, Driving & DUIs: The Statistics Will Spook You

October 24, 2023

We don't know you but we'll assume, since Halloween is next week... you're probably deciding what to be.

Maybe you'll jump on a bandwagon, get one of 2023's most popular costumes (according to CNN) and be:

  1. One of Greta Gerwig's many Barbies. Weird Barbie, Barbie as an '80s roller girl - or perhaps a Ken accompanying a Barbie.

  2. Oppenheimer. The perfect, simple costume if you've had enough of all that pink.

  3. Wednesday Addams. Again, another antidote to pink.



Might not be easy to decide what to be, but it is easy to decide what not to be: Drunk, driving around, on Halloween.

As the fifth-booziest holiday in the US, Halloween is - as you'd expect - replete with more drunk-driving incidents than (most) other days of the year. But how bad is it, really?

You're about to find out.

Buckle up (literally) because we're dropping some scary stats on you. Like Wednesday dropping piranhas into a pool.

Here we go.


The Stats: Halloween Drinking, Driving & Fatalities

  1. On Halloween night, between 2017 and 2021, there were a total of 159 fatalities caused by drunk driving - up from 126 between 2015 and 2019, with an average of 25 people dying each year.

  2. Last year, a survey of 1,000 Americans found that adults aged 20-24 drink the most of any age group on Halloween. Women had three drinks on average, while men had four - and were more likely to have blacked out.

  3. To put that into perspective: In 2021, 55% of drunk driving victims who died on Halloween were aged 21-34. That year, 17 pedestrians were also killed.

  4. Speaking of pedestrians: Trick-or-treaters under 18 are three times more likely to be killed by a car on Halloween than any other time of the year, while kids from ages 4 to 8 are 10 times more likely.

    See this chart, using data from the National Highway Traffic Administration and compiled by Vox:

To compare this with the rest of the year:


Luckily, it's not all a nightmare.

(or a pool of piranhas)

Despite the frankly frightening figures above, there is some positive data coming out - showing a reduction in drinking and an increase in responsible behavior.

So, here are three bits of good news - and three (easy) things you can do to make your Halloween safer.

  1. Halloween celebrants are going zero-proof. During Halloween and Dia de los Muertos in 2022, sales of non-alcoholic spirits rose by a whopping 71.5% and non-alcoholic beer sales jumped by 28.4%, according to data from Nielsen.

    Try a fall-themed alcohol-free aperitif, like the warming sumac and chili mix from Ghia.

  2. Cities are increasingly going car-free for Halloween. Avoid drunk drivers by avoiding cars altogether, and opting for a vehicle-free street. New York City, for example, is continuing its relatively new "Trick or Streets" initiative: blocking off cars from 100 streets from 4-8 pm.

  3. Sales of personal breathalyzers are rising. Particularly around boozy holidays like Halloween. (Take it from us: We're a breathalyzer company).

    People are using BACtrack's police-grade breathalyzers to test themselves, friends, and family members - and verify that they're actually ok to drive home.

    Now, you're probably thinking that toting around a breathalyzer seems... extreme. But it's not. BACtrack breathalyzers are discreet, chic, and can fit anywhere: your pocket, your purse, your kid's Jack-o-lantern bucket, anywhere.

    And we like to think they go with any costume.



    Check out the BACtrack C6, the BACtrack C8, and BACtrack S80 below. 



    This piece starts with an assumption and it ends with one, too: You're a responsible person. (you're reading a blog from a breathalyzer brand, after all). You know not to drink and drive.

    Still, while you're planning your costume and smoky cocktails and party... it can't hurt to also plan how you (or anyone you know having boooze) will avoid potential DUIs or crashes on Halloween.

    Update your rideshare app payment info, choose a walking route wisely, pick a DD, and (the ultimate safety measure) get yourself a BACtrack - order now to receive it by October 31.

    Whether you stay sober or choose to drink this Halloween, we won't judge.

    But if you do become a drunk witch - make sure you're not a driving one.