AUSTIN, Texas — With the spirits of Halloween in full swing, the Austin Police Department shared a few things it wants Austinites to know for the spooky holiday.
On Halloween night, APD will be conducting a No Refusal Initiative from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., where officers will be out in encouraging drivers to make responsible decisions and will apply for blood search warrants on suspects who refuse to provide a breath or blood specimen, as required by law.
Additionally, APD provided some safety tips for those going out on Halloween:
- 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 and discretion used as to whether to consume.
- 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. Do not 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 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."
Here are a few Halloween tips for homeowners, per APD:
- Turn on your porch light
- Move lit jack-o-lanterns to a safe area for fire safety. Kids often trick-or-treat in groups and the area may get congested.
- 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 those planning on hitting up Sixth Street, here's what APD wants you to know: there will be a number of street closures in the downtown area due to expected high foot traffic.
APD says Sixth Street will be closed from Brazos Street to the west frontage road of Interstate Highway 35. Cross streets will be closed between Fifth and Seventh streets. Closures should be completed by 6 p.m. on Halloween night and towing of vehicles parked on Sixth Street and cross streets (Brazos, San Jacinto, Trinity, Neches, Red River and Sabine) will begin at 6 p.m. Owners of vehicles towed during this time should locate their vehicle using Auto Return’s website (www.autoreturn.com) and have their license plate or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) available, APD said. The I-35 southbound Eighth through Third Street exit and the Interstate 35 northbound Sixth Street exit may also be closed. Additional I-35 exit ramps may be closed depending on the amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the Sixth Street area, according to APD. Closures will be dictated by crowd size to ensure pedestrian safety.
Finally, APD said there are a few things for adults to remember regarding their Halloween costumes:
- No illegal weapons of any type will be allowed. Anyone with illegal items will be subject to arrest and the property is subject to seizure.
- Open containers of alcohol are prohibited on Sixth Street.
- Glass containers are prohibited on Sixth Street.
- 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.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: