Here's what you need to know ahead of Austin's Halloween festivities

Halloween is Monday, Oct. 31.

Halloween is Monday, Oct. 31.

Halloween is Monday, but the Austin Police Department anticipates a large gathering downtown on Saturday, particularly on East Sixth Street. The city will close East Sixth Street from Brazos Street to I-35 starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Monday. APD will have officers patrolling on bicycles throughout the weekend.

In addition, the I-35 southbound Eighth Street-Third Street exit and the I-35 northbound Sixth Street exit may also be closed, and more exits could close depending on the amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the Sixth Street area. APD said in a news release closures will be dictated by crowd size to ensure pedestrian safety.

Children under 17 years old who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian must leave the Sixth Street area by 11 p.m.

The police department is also issuing an extended "no refusal" DWI initiative between Friday and Monday, starting at 9 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m. each day.

According to APD, no refusal means if a suspect refuses to provide a breath or blood sample, and the officer has evidence of impairment, the officer will apply to a judge requesting a search warrant for a blood sample.

"The no-refusal initiative is an effort to enforce DWI laws, keep the public safe and to conduct blood search warrants on suspects who refuse to give a breath or blood specimen as required by law," APD said in a news release.

The release said last year, 41 people were arrested in Austin during the no-refusal initiative.

APD is also offering these general safety tips for Halloween night:

  • 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

Read more safety tips here.

The popular neighborhood networking website has an interactive "treat map" that allows residents to show whether or not they will be giving out candy in their neighborhood.

Watch the full news conference on Halloween safety and road closures with Austin Police Department officials from this morning:


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