AUSTIN - Police announced its safety plans and downtown street closures for Halloween 2016, including a No Refusal DWI initiative that will run in Austin for the weekend.
Police will close Sixth Street to vehicle traffic between Brazos and the West Frontage Road of Interstate 35. All cross streets will be closed between Fifth and Seventh Streets (Brazos, San Jacinto, Trinity, Neches, Red River and Sabine), and vehicles parked along Sixth and the cross streets will be towed, beginning at 6 p.m.
APD said it may close the SB I-35 8th – 3rd Streets exit and the NB 6th – 12th Streets exit, and that any additional I-35 exit ramps may be closed “depending on the amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic” around Sixth Street.
Those planning to be on Sixth Street are reminded that no weapons of any type will be allowed, including:
- Illegal Knives
- Sharp or pointed items
Police added costume accessories should be plastic or of a soft material, and anyone with illegal items will be arrested and the property seized.
Glass containers are prohibited, and open containers of alcohol will not be allowed on Sixth Street. Children under 17 years of age who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian must leave the Sixth Street area by 11 p.m., police said.
APD issued several tips for people celebrating Halloween.
For parents and trick-or-treaters:
- Know your trick-or-treater's route;
- Take a flashlight;
- Be sure costumes, shoes, and treat bags are safe;
- Remind children not to enter a stranger's home or car;
- Set rules about not eating treats until your children are home. Inspect all treats before allowing kids to eat them;
- Candy that has been opened should be thrown away. Any homemade treats or fruit should be inspected closely;
- Remember drivers have a hard time seeing people, especially at dusk;
- Never cross the street from between parked cars;
- Watch open flames from jack-o-lanterns as they present a fire hazard for costumes and long wigs. Review the "stop, drop and roll" procedure in case your costume catches on fire;
- Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses;
- Don't enter any homes unless you know the people;
- Carry a spare Halloween bag -- in case it breaks or your original one is filled;
- Make sure fake knives, swords, and guns are made from cardboard or other flexible materials to avoid accidental injury or worse - having them mistaken for the real thing;
- Don't cut across yards. Use sidewalks and stay out of back yards;
- Follow traffic signals and do not jaywalk or cross at mid-block;
- Always watch for cars backing up or turning;
- Never accept rides from strangers;
- Respect other people and their property;
- Be polite and say "thank you"
For people handing out candy:
- Turn on your porch light;
- Move lit jack-o-lanterns off the porch where kids get bunched up when trick-or-treating in groups;
- Remove objects from your yard that might present a hazard;
- Drive slowly all evening. You never know what little “creature” may suddenly cross your path;
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to the police.
For adults celebrating Halloween:
- Make sure any accessories, such as fake guns, knives, and other potentially dangerous items are not mistaken for the real thing;
- Fire safety and visibility are important for adult costumes. Apply the same standards to adult costumes as you do to your children's;
- Remember adults that are dressed up can be scary to young children.
APD said the initiative will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 and end at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1. The no refusal period will only be 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. during those dates.
No Refusal means if a DWI suspect refuses to provide a breath or blood sample and the officer has evidence the suspect is impaired, the officer will request from a judge a search warrant for a blood sample.
APD said 41 were arrested during the Halloween 2015 No Refusal initiative.
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