Halloween night sees East Bay families going door-to-door, with kids dressed as ghosts and vampires looking for candy. Adults and college students also like to join in the fun, getting dressed up in outrageous costumes and going out to parties and local bars. But Halloween can also bring a bump in DUIs, theft and property crime.
Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, which means it will be a popular night for going out to show off and check out Halloween holiday costumes. Many local residents and college students will be attending house parties or events at bars and restaurants. If they don't make plan for getting home safe, some people may end up behind the wheel after they've had too much to drink. Law enforcement is well aware of the festive event, and Californian's can expect special DUI enforcement this October 31st.
Nearby police departments have issued press releases announcing their plans to be extra vigilant for Halloween. Saturation patrols and additional police officers will be on the lookout for signs of impaired driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 43% of people killed in car accidents on Halloween night between 2009 and 2013 involved an intoxicated driver.
However, it is not only drunk driving that rises on All Hallow's Eve, some studies suggest other crimes also spike. A professor in Boston found that criminal activity increases on the three holidays of New Year's Eve, the Fourth of July and Halloween. From 2006 to 2009, crime in the city of Boston was up 50% on Halloween as compared to other days. Canadian officials have also found a correlation, with a 50% increase in weapons-related felonies on that night.
Locally, on places like the Berkeley campus, Halloween may see a bump in petty theft, underage drinking or DUIs. In past years, Halloween parties have resulted in uninvited guests stealing property. In response, campus police may use extra officer patrols to try and keep students safe.
The UK has also reported higher crime on Halloween night, with one area reporting a 77% increase in burglaries and a 13% increase in arrests and police calls. One way local law enforcement intends to cut down on what they term “anti-social behavior,” is to limit the sale of eggs and flour to young people. In Evesham, England, shops selling eggs and flour have fliers in their windows to limit youth access to baking ingredients that may be used for vandalizing purposes.
If you or someone you know is arrested for a DUI or other crime this Halloween weekend, the arrest does not have to end in a criminal conviction. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people charged with driving under the influence in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of DUI and criminal defense experience, she understands the possible penalties involved. Contact a local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands the local criminal laws, and will make sure you get the justice you deserve.