Do Crime Rates Really Increase On Halloween?
Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.
Posted: October 30, 2013
Is there really a spike in crimes committed on Halloween night? You might (correctly) assume yes, if you think along the lines of Halloween pranks and alcohol-related crimes. But even pranks can have deadly consequences as was in the case of the murder of a 21-year-old Bronx, New York man, Karl Jackson. While at a party picking up his girlfriend’s nine-year-old son, some teenagers pelted his car with eggs. Jackson got out and an argument ensued. When he got back into his car, one of the teens pulled out a gun and shot him point blank in the head.
Although gang violence, abductions, and murders occur everyday, when they take place on Halloween (or any other major holiday), these violent crimes tend to be remembered longer than when they are committed on non-holidays. Perhaps one of the reasons for this longer-term crime memory is because the media likes to grab onto isolated incidents and build on them, especially when headlines can include ties to “Devil’s Night” or “Mischief Night,” to shock their viewers. Regardless of the reason, crimes do somehow seem more alarming when they are committed on a holiday. The media understands “spin” and skillfully plays into the general public’s curiosity and fear, so when there is a holiday slant, crimes do seem to get longer “air time.”
Alcohol-Related Offenses Do Appear To Increase On Halloween
Across the nation many universities do report an increase in alcohol-related offenses and crimes such as drunk driving and vandalism on Halloween, but this would not seem out of the ordinary for other “party” holidays including New Year’s or even during an impromptu party after a winning football game. Still, at least one study of college kids has concluded that college students are more likely to show an increase in alcohol consumption while attending parties where costumes are worn (such as to a Halloween party) even though the same study showed no significant increase in the connection between costume parties and an increase in drug use.
However, it should be noted that the number of people charged with alcohol related offenses may also correlate with the increase in police on patrol during the holidays. Throughout New Jersey, local jurisdictions step up police presence in public places to enforce curfews, ensure public safety, and set up more DUI checkpoints. Statistics may or may not bear out an increase in certain crimes on holidays but they do show sufficient evidence that increased police presence does deter crimes.
Sobriety checkpoints (also called DUI or DWI checkpoints) are part of the overall effort on behalf of the state of New Jersey to deter drunk driving. The purpose of setting up checkpoints, the locations and times of which are announced to the public, is to deter people from drinking and driving, not simply to catch offenders.
If You Have Been Charged With Drunk Driving Our DUI Defense Lawyers Can Help
Whether you are charged with a drunk driving offense on Halloween, or any other day, our experienced DUI attorneys can help. As former prosecutors, we were on the other side in hundreds of DUI related cases. Now we use our experience to ensure that your rights are protected and you get the best outcome possible. We examine the police investigation in an effort to have your case dismissed or obtain a not guilty verdict after a trial.
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