Halloween might be more dangerous this year simply because it falls on Saturday.
According to AAA, fatal injuries from motor vehicle crashes rise nearly 50 percent when Halloween falls on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
Alcohol is also a factor that only increases when the holiday falls on the weekend.
“Alcohol is normally the main concern with Halloween festivities, but more so this year because the holiday falls on the weekend and drinking could increase because people do not have to work the next day,” a Governor’s Office of Highway Safety news release stated.
An increase in drinking not only puts motorists in danger, but also trick-or-treaters.
Richmond County sheriff’s Maj. Steve Strickland said officers are being asked to be extra vigilant this year at clubs and bars because of an expected increase in patrols and drinking activity.
From 2009 to 2013, 43 percent of the people killed in crashes from 6 p.m. on Halloween to 6 a.m. the following morning involved a drunk driver. Nineteen percent of fatal pedestrian crashes also involved drunk drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For the most part, Halloween in Augusta is typically quiet, without any of the mayhem sometimes associated with the holiday. Pranks, like pumpkin smashing or egging, are isolated and rare.
“We have more problems with Fourth of July from people shooting off fireworks than we do with Halloween,” Strickland said.
One of the biggest concerns is always child safety, even though Strickland can’t recall an occasion where a local trick-or-treater was injured.
He asked that parents not allow their children to do anything they wouldn’t normally do any other day of the year.
“Because it’s Halloween people will do things they wouldn’t normally do – like walk down the middle of the street,” Strickland said.
Trick-or-treaters aren’t the only ones at risk this year after a threat was made against police officers nationwide.
The FBI issued an alert to police departments warning them of a potential anarchist “Halloween revolt” against police. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office confirms it did receive the bulletin and is aware of the potential threat.
The bulletin states that anarchist group National Liberation Militia members or supporters were asked to dress in costumes, cause a disturbance then ambush the responding officers with bricks, bottles and firearms.
Because there is no specific or credible information about attack, the bulletin is shared with all law enforcement as a matter of precaution.