"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."
All Hallows Eve, commonly known as Halloween, is the one night a year that brings us an opportunity to be mischievous, face our fears, and play in disguise. But sometimes, too much fun can become something that haunts us for life.
With that in mind, we have prepared a guide to the most common infractions committed on Halloween, along with some tips to help prevent them, so you don't spoil your fun!
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcohol, with NO exceptions. To keep up the fun, experiment with different beverage types, and stick to the mocktails.
Driving while intoxicated is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents; in 2020, the figure increased by 14% to <total>. As usual, Halloween was at the top of the list of holidays with drunk driving-accidents.
Protect yourself and others by avoiding drinking too much. Know your limits! Have a designated driver, use Uber or Lyft, call a taxi, or hop on the bus. Any of these are better than spending a night in jail or, worse, killing someone.
Vandalism occurs when you cause harm to another person's property. Some examples popular on Halloween are egging, spray painting, toilet papering, trashing, and stealing.
Avoid these activities and take some time off; you can even plan to go dancing or head to a haunted house to release some of that pent-up energy.
Trespassing and vandalism often go hand-in-hand. Trespassing simply means going into or on another person's property without his or her permission. It doesn't matter what your intentions are; if you don't have permission, you could end up with a ticket or worse.
Practice being aware of your surroundings and activities, knowing where the boundaries of proprieties are, and respecting the signs and rules of the places you go. Only walk on the sidewalks and pass streets at crossings or corners.
We understand that some costumes may use props as fake weapons, but be aware of the rules regarding carrying firearms on Halloween. Remember that these types of props aren't a good idea because law enforcement may mistake a toy gun for the genuine one. Choose your fake weapon carefully if you're wearing costumes as a military officer, policeman, mob boss, or anyone else who holds a gun. Open carry is here, but that doesn't mean that toy couldn't still be mistaken for the real thing.
Premises Liability and Social Host Liability
If you host a party or are open to receiving Trick or Treaters, and someone gets injured on your property, you could be held responsible for their injuries. In Texas, social host liability laws apply to bars, and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and, in some cases, hold them accountable in case of an accident.
To avoid problems, try to be aware of the limits while offering and buying alcohol and providing alcohol to minors.
Take care of your guests' safety around your house, and be mindful of your decorations and where you place them.
Fighting, making threats, making too much noise, or even using aggressive or vulgar language or threats in public are just a few examples of disruptive behaviors.
Remember, this celebration is not an excuse to ignore general rules of conduct. Be respectful of the people around you; if you experience any disagreement, don't engage, apologize if needed, and walk away.
And remember that minors are still subject to crime and public safety laws. Many special regulations and rules are in place to deal with young offenders, but it is still a crime. Charges are determined by various factors, including the gravity of the offense, prior charges, demeanor, and proof.
Juvenile penalties may include getting fined or restitution, taking part in guidance and counseling, and performing community service. Juveniles can be sentenced to house arrest and placed in the home of a relative, foster care, or a juvenile detention facility for more serious crimes or repeat offenders. In severe cases, an incarceration is a viable option. Also, parents, beware that you are responsible for the acts of your children. Remind them of the consequences and keep an eye and ear out.
So, now that you know what to avoid, you can celebrate responsibly.