The Medl in News
far higher than on most other days of the year. Coupled with the fact that 86% of adults bring alcohol to Halloween parties, you begin to see the danger. According to census statistics, over half of motor-vehicle deaths on Halloween in the past 40 years have involved alcohol. The facts are simple. If Halloween is always on the weekend, more parties are going to happen, and more irresponsible drivers are going to take to the road while kids are still out hunting for candy. As someone who deals with DWI and auto accident cases, I breathe a sigh of relief whenever Halloween isn’t on a weekend. Yes, I’ll be tired at work the next day after walking my daughter all over the neighborhood, but who isn’t tired when they go into work? Maybe this is just a generational gap, but when I was a kid, I didn’t even have supervision on Halloween, and I don’t remember any particular difficulties getting to school the next day. My biggest concern as a trick-or-treater was avoiding the older kids that might try to steal my candy. Regardless of what day Halloween lands on from year to year, there are always steps we can take to make the evening safer for everyone. Incorporating reflective tape into costumes, teaching kids to take off their masks and look both ways when crossing the street, and NEVER getting behind the wheel under the influence can help keep Oct. 31 a fun-filled night.
A HALLOWEEN THREAT
What Has Me Spooked This Year
Halloween is fast approaching, and I understand that it’s meant to be a “spooky” time of year. Ghosts and goblins are all well and good when it comes to kids looking for candy, but this year, there are some real specters looming over Oct. 31. I am, of course, talking about the special interest groups who are attempting to change the date of this fun-filled holiday. You may have seen the news stories. Earlier this year, a national petition launched by the Halloween & Costume Association garnered over 58,000 signatures to move the Halloween celebration to the last Saturday of October. At first glance, this seems pretty appealing. Kids and parents wouldn’t have to worry about school and work the next morning, and trick-or-treating could start earlier in the day. Of course, that also means that those distributing candy would have to be ready at the door all day long and have enough to last into the evening. (No wonder the candy companies are in favor of this move.) However, this isn’t my main concern with moving the date. As a parent and a lawyer, I have safety concerns when it comes to Halloween always landing on a Saturday. Sure, some kids may start trick-or-treating earlier in the day, but there will always be those who start or stay out later. This, paired with the many parties young adults throw on Halloween weekend, is a dangerous combination. Children already face an increased risk of being hit by an automobile during this particular holiday. The sheer number of kids out and about means the numbers are always going to be
– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.
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