castillo law safe halloween

Tips for a Safe and Fun Halloween from Castillo Law

Cindy Castillo DUI, Arizona Law, AZ Events

When Black Cats Prowl and Pumpkins Gleam, Keep the Criminal Charges away this Halloween!

It’s time for everyone’s favorite holiday! Although the leaves aren’t changing, there’s a cool breeze shaking the cactus needles, and people are busy deciding whether or not dressing as Pizza Rat will finally score a win at the costume contest this year. As with any holiday where drinking and lowered inhibitions are encouraged, we don’t have to dress like a fortune teller to know police officers will be on high alert for criminal activity this Halloween. In order to keep a little less trouble out of your witches’ brew, Castillo Law would like to highlight some Halloween mistakes that could haunt you well past October 31st. Follow our advice, and you’re sure to have a fang-tastic night!

  1. Don’t Let the Most Frightening Thing That Happens to You This Halloween be a Traffic Stop Turned DUI

    There are numerous reasons for a traffic stop that may go unconsidered. Simple matters such as not activating headlights, having a blown license plate light, driving with unregistered tags or having a cracked windshield can cause an officer to perform a traffic stop.  In many instances, officers will observe simple driving mistakes that alert them of a potential DUI. Making an abrupt stop at a stoplight, swerving in and out of lanes, and/or an unsignaled lane change can definitely catch an officer’s attention. One extremely common cause of a traffic stop turned DUI we’d like to highlight is an improper right turn. A right turn into the number 1 lane (the lane closest to the median) is an improper right turn. When making a right turn, the driver should turn into the curb lane. This is a rule we all learned to obtain a driver’s license, but it’s more often broken than followed. As you can see, even rudimentary driving rules can prompt a traffic stop and/or DUI investigation. Make sure to follow all traffic laws, and, if you’ve been drinking, don’t risk driving.

    Sometimes, people falsely believe that the officer must notice some signs of impaired driving in order to begin a DUI investigation, but this is not necessarily the case. From the moment an officer’s lights are activated, the officer begins documenting symptoms of alcohol ingestion including slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes, and/or alcoholic odor coming from the breath. These signs and symptoms transform a simple traffic stop into a DUI investigation. At any point in time, when interacting with an officer, evidence can be gathered against a driver for any and all charges that apply. Officers may even lead you into a DUI investigation by spontaneously asking you if you’ve had anything to drink that night. Remember, do not falsely report any statements, remain polite and cooperative with the officer, and when in doubt invoke your right to remain silent and ask to speak with an attorney, where illegal activity is afoot.

  2. Designate a Sober Responsible Person, not just the Guy Dressed Up as Bart Simpson

    The surest way to prevent a DUI investigation is to refrain from driving. With apps like Uber and Lyft, there is really no reason to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. Our best suggestion is to download these apps now and keep your phone fully charged.

    Many times, we hear, “designate a driver.” This is not necessarily the best advice. The “designated drivers” are often pressured to have “just a few beers.” This could lead to disastrous consequences for everyone, passengers included.

    Designate someone who is sober and responsible, when you are planning to go out and consume alcohol. The sober responsible person should be someone who will ensure your safety up until you walk through your front door at the end of the night. This is not someone who is prone to the pressures of drinking. Keep in mind that even “just a few beers” can lead to DUI charges. Don’t be tricked by the “designated driver!” Be treated by a sober, responsible friend!

  3. Drink Responsibly: Non-DUI Infractions on Halloween Night

    A lot more can go wrong on Halloween, other than DUI charges. Although holidays where alcohol is regularly consumed are prone to a higher number of DUIs, some other common Halloween infractions include:

    1. Indecent Exposure, A.R.S. §13-1402:

      A person commits indecent exposure if he or she exposes his or her genitals or anus or she exposes a bare chest and another person is present and the defendant is reckless about whether or not the person, as a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by this act.

      • Instances when this could occur:

        Public urination or an overly risqué costume

      • How to prevent violating this statute:

        Go to the bathroom before you leave the house and while you’re at the club. Risking being caught with your pants down by an officer is almost as embarrassing as your fraternity brother who decided to dress as a cheerleader this year. Also, know your audience, if there are children present, or if children could be present, keep modesty in mind when choosing a costume.

    2. Disorderly Conduct, A. R. S. § 13-2904:

      A person commits disorderly conduct if they have intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person.

      • Instances when this could occur:

        Fighting, making unreasonable noises, or having an unreasonably loud house party

      • How to prevent violating this statute:

        If you’re having a house party, notify your neighbors ahead of time. Make sure you know your limits when ingesting alcohol. If you get very loud, boisterous and rowdy when inebriated, make sure you have people around you that will remind you to lower your voice. Or, leave the party or bar when you know you’re getting out of hand and well before the police are called.

    3. Criminal Damage, A.R.S. § 13-1602:

      A person commits criminal damage by recklessly defacing or damaging property of another person.

      • Instances when this could occur:

        Toilet papering or egging a house as a Halloween prank, throwing pumpkins at moving cars, or putting shaving cream on a car to make it look like a ghost

      • How to prevent violating this statute:

        Although these all sound comical, they are all ill-advised.  Keep your ghastly hands off other people’s property.

    4. Trespassing, A.R.S. § 13-1502:

      A person commits criminal trespass by knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property. (This statute is written in three degrees and progresses from a class 3 misdemeanor to a class 6 undesignated felony).

      • Instances when this could occur:

        Trick-or-treating on someone’s property without reading a “no trespassing” sign or entering an abandoned building to perform a séance

      • How to prevent violating this statute:

        Make sure you read and abide by any posted signs.

    5. Crimes against the Dead, A.R.S. § 32-1364:

      The removal, tampering or storing of a dead human body is a class 4 felony under this statute.

      • Instances when this could occur:

        Accidentally bringing a real skeleton to a friend’s party

      • How to prevent violating this statute:

        Don’t head to the graveyard to dig up your Halloween prop this year. Stick to the plastic skeletons!

Happy and Safe Halloween from Castillo Law

We hope that this article has been helpful and that all our readers have a happy and safe Halloween. If you have any questions, or if you find yourself in one of these ghoulish situations, do not hesitate to contact Castillo Law at 480-206-5204. We are available 24/7, seven days a week. Have a spooktacular day!