Halloween is a dangerous night for impaired driving

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COLUMBIA - Halloween festivities will start Thursday and transportation officials want Mid-Missourians to take precaution and stay safe.

With an increased number of pedestrians on roadways and alcohol fueled parties, the Missouri Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers to plan ahead when celebrating Halloween weekend.

MoDOT said many Halloween celebrations will include alcohol and one of the best choices a celebrator can make is to designate a sober driver to get everyone home safely.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reported nine fatal crashes and 34 serious injury accidents in 2013.

"Every year there are still some people who think they can drive after drinking," Executive Chair Leanna Depue said.

The coalition wants drivers to remember these roadway safety tips during the holiday weekend:

• 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've been drinking, 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 impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.

For more information visit The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety's website.