Halloween safety in downtown Austin

There are still two days until Halloween, but celebrations have already begun downtown.

Along with all the guys and ghouls letting loose, extra police officers are patrolling to make sure everyone stays safe.
               
“It gets very busy. It's an exciting place to be,” said John Erwin, owner of B.D. Rileys Pub. 

East 6th Street is extra spooky the weekend before Halloween. Customers get decked out in their favorite costumes to celebrate the scariest holiday of the year at their favorite haunt.

“For those showing up specifically on Halloween, certainly enjoy yourselves. We'd like everyone to have a good time down here. A lot of folks will be in costume. Remember about leaving things that look like weapons. We would just ask you to leave those at home. It’s just easier for everyone not to bring those down here,” said downtown area Commander David Mahoney with the Austin Police Department.

Bar owners said they will enforce police officer's requests in order to make sure the most chilling part of the night is the characters. 

“We make judgement calls at the door. If anything looks dangerous, appears to be dangerous, or could be used dangerously, we don't allow it in,” Erwin said. 

When people visit downtown establishments they will have to show their true identity at the door.

“We inform staff, our servers, as well as the door managers, be well aware a lot of folks are going to be wearing costumes, wearing makeup, carrying things that may resemble weapons, so just be a little extra alert and also tell the people that come to visit to use a lot of common sense and behave and have fun,” said Erwin.  

Police will also be working to make sure the roads aren't as scary as the parties. That's why they are enforcing a no refusal weekend. It runs from 9pm to 5am until Tuesday and means if someone refuses to provide a breath or blood sample, and the officer has evidence of impairment, he or she can apply to a judge requesting a search warrant for a blood sample.

For those who will be trick or treating in neighborhoods, police say parents should either accompany their children or know where they are at all times. And when children return home, parents should double check candy for anything suspicious.

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