Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) -- 202 DUI arrests were made in Peoria last year - ranking it 14th in the state. Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists puts the town of Normal at number seven, making driving during Halloween time more dangerous than ever.
Like most holiday weekends, the Peoria County Sheriff's Department is increasing their patrols for Halloween. Sheriff Brian Asbell says Halloween weekend has actually surpassed new year's eve as a drinking holiday.
"This has now become an adult holiday instead of a child's holiday, but the problem is they're together. We have the children out there at the same time the adults are having their parties. That's our biggest concern is the safety of the children", said Asbell. He adds that this specific holiday brings more trouble than others, "it seems when people put costumes on they do more.... silly stuff, as a nice way to put it."
The department is using grant dollars for extra staff in order to combat impaired and distracted driving.
One local bar owner is making an effort to do his share in stopping intoxicated driving. The owner of Kellehers Irish Pub says his staff is trained to know when to stop serving someone.
"Tell them to back off. it's not comfortable for anybody. We try to watch it very closely and the bartenders are trained to back them off", said Pat Sullivan.
He adds that they will provide FREE non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers, something they do all year round.