Police force increased to prevent Halloween DUIs

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- Statistics show about 41 million kids nationwide from ages 5-14 could go out trick or treating. Parents say it is a holiday that really requires some planning on their part.

Matt Merritt and his wife Jennifer are taking their seven year old daughter to their friend's house in Carolina Forest for trick or treating this year.

Merritt says, "It seems like a safe place to take your kids because all the parents are out with their kids." Merritt adds, "Because it's a school night, we try to get home early before all the adult parties start letting out."

Safety on the roads is a concern on many parents' minds and that is why some are trick or treating early and driving back roads to avoid the possibility of drunk drivers. Merritt says, "Even though I have precious cargo, we always make sure we use more caution of those around us driving."

More law enforcement around neighborhoods and in communities are keeping a close eye out for DUI offenders." Captain David Knipes with the Myrtle Beach Police Department says, "We typically have more officers out keeping kids safe. Making sure the roadways are clear-no safety hazards for the kids."

According to the National Retail Federation, about 68% of adults are celebrating Halloween this year. Jessica Hardy says, "I think it has become an adult holiday rather than a kid holiday. I think it's an excuse for people to dress up and act crazy."

But Hardy and her friends say they put safety first and call a cab or a designated driver. "I went to a party last week and everyone put their keys in a bowl and everyone put their keys in there and that bowl was gone for the rest of the night."

Hardy says too much is at stake for a fun night of partying to end in tragedy. "Now I use a breathalyzer at all my parties because I care about my friends, and I don't want anything bad to happen to them."

Experts say Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year which is behind New Years' and Super Bowl Sunday. And that is one main reason more law enforcement is out on Halloween.

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