Illinois Halloween laws to remember this fall
Personal Injury - October 26, 2023
Halloween is often celebrated as a way to step out of your everyday life and become someone, or something, else. Princesses, movie stars, superheroes, witches, wizards, monsters – the list goes on for how children and adults may wish to dash about their neighborhoods in search of treats. However, our state is famous for some unusual regulations governing this holiday.
If you fail to abide by these Illinois Halloween laws to remember this fall, you could face fines that add up to a pretty expensive trick. Some were written long ago and don’t make sense in our modern world, but others have a very valuable purpose. If you or a loved one is harmed by someone who doesn’t follow these laws, speak with our Chicago personal injury attorneys to understand more.
Illinois Halloween laws – tricks or treats?
Older people will often remember their childhood Halloweens as simple and uncomplicated. As times changed, more negative and truly frightening influences crept into this fabled night, leading to laws attempting to keep little ghouls and goblins safe on the streets. Some localities are stricter than others, legislating when, how, and for how long trick-or-treating can occur.
For example, Belleville, IL, makes it illegal for anyone beyond eighth grade to ask for candy during the festivities. Doing so and getting caught can lead to a whopping $1,000 fine. Knocking on the door of a house without its porch light on in Decatur could have you taking home a $750 fine instead of a candy bar.
Halloween weekend in Chicago is not much better. All across the suburbs, hours are restricted, and violations lead to fines as high as $750 for trick-or-treating after hours as early as 7 p.m.
Things to do on Halloween in Chicago
Chicago Halloween trick-or-treat hours
While there are no official city-wide Halloween trick-or-treat hours in Chicago, the city of West Chicago does encourage families to focus on taking their children out between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on October 31. Before the big night, the city offers many things to do for Halloween in Chicago and across the area, such as movie nights, face painting, parades, and even Spooky Zoo at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Why are there so many laws about Halloween in Illinois?
In the 2000s, college students and other individuals began taking the “trick” part of trick-or-treating much too seriously. Vandalism and assaults were widespread, committed by those who were considered too old to be out seeking the innocent fun of asking neighbors for candy. To reduce this yearly wave of crimes, Illinois towns and cities began enacting laws to discourage and punish those who caused harm.
While there aren’t many Chicago Halloween rules, it is still illegal to harm others or commit crimes during this night, even if you are dressed as a supervillain. Halloween in downtown Chicago should be safe for children and adults, without fear of injury from tainted candy or troublemakers who might hurt someone. To know whether you have a strong personal injury claim, speak to an attorney who can advise you on the law.
Some Halloween laws have a vital role in protecting children
The laws that protect the most people on Halloween are those focused on sex offenders who committed crimes against children. Along with limiting their ability to live, work, or be present near schools, Illinois laws forbid registered sex offenders from handing out candy or even leaving their porch lights on during the holiday.
They also cannot attend events geared toward children under 18 at Halloween, Christmas, or any other time of the year. Local law enforcement officials usually contact these individuals and notify them directly about these limitations so they can’t claim they didn’t know the law.
How to celebrate Halloween safely and legally
To have the most fun on this spooky night, be sure to follow some common sense rules, including the following.
Keep your child’s costume safe
Masks can restrict their ability to see where they are going, which could cause them to trip and fall. They might also run into other children if they don’t have an unobstructed view of their surroundings. Finally, some costume pieces can limit their ability to breathe or move, which could be dangerous for those with respiratory issues.
Add reflective tape to children’s costumes so motorists can see them crossing streets.
Go where you know
Whether you travel with them or not, stick to routes and homes in a familiar area. Focus on neighborhoods where you know the residents and that have reduced traffic.
No homemade treats
Teach your children to only accept wrapped and sealed candy over homemade items. Also, remind them to bring everything home for inspection before eating anything. Eating a little goodie as you walk along is a time-honored Halloween tradition for kids, so send some pieces from your candy stash at home so they can safely indulge as they walk around.
Observe traffic and safety laws
With all the excitement, children may forget to look both ways or wait for traffic signals before crossing the street. Drivers may also be celebrating with adult beverage treats, putting everyone at risk of a drunk or distracted driver.
Know and follow the laws
Don’t get caught out too late or go to the wrong houses. Educate yourself and your children about local Halloween laws for your county, city, or town, and abide by them.
Happy Halloween from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates
Our team hopes you have a thrilling Halloween weekend in Chicago. If you suffer a fright instead of fun and need help deciding if you have a potential personal injury claim, contact us by calling (800) 985-1819 or using our convenient online form to schedule your free consultation.