Fortuna police: Keep kids safe tonight -- don't drink and drive

The "Avoid the 7" Humboldt County DUI Task Force will be deploying additional patrols today in addition to routine patrols already scheduled to stop and arrest alcohol or drug impaired drivers, according to a Fortuna Police Department press release

"If you celebrate with alcohol, you don't belong behind the wheel." said Task Force Coordinator, FPD Sgt. Charles Ellebrecht. "A sober and safe ride after the party is the best treat you can give yourself and everyone else on the road this Halloween."

Halloween is one of the deadliest holidays of the year on our roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2007-2011, 52 percent of all national fatalities occurring on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. Males ages 21-34 comprised almost half of all drunk drivers who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide during the 2011 Halloween period, according to the release. It is the deadliest night for child pedestrians of any night of the whole year.

To keep safe this Halloween, the task force recommends these tips:

-- Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.

-- Always designate a sober driver.

-- If you are impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

-- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

-- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.

-- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going. If you think you have to ask if they are OK to drive, you already know they're not.

Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the release.