Britain 's Authority on Etiquette Issues Halloween Rules

In Tennessee Department of Safety and Highway Patrol remind parents, children and especially motorists to do their part to make sure that everyone gets home safely on Halloween night.

The celebration may turn into a real night of horror if someone is hurt by a careless or impaired driver.

“With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, we want to make sure revelers aren’t taking the party to the roadways, putting trick-or-treaters and responsible motorists at risk,” said Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “Law enforcement officers throughout Tennessee will be out in full force arresting and removing drunk drivers from our roadways.”

Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher.

Last year in Tennessee, eight people were killed in seven crashes on Halloween between 12:00 a.m., October 31, 2008, through 6:00 a.m., November 1, 2008. Four of those crashes involved alcohol. That compares to three people killed in crashes on Halloween during the same time period in 2007. One crash in 2007 involved alcohol, Murfreesboro Post reports.

Meanwhile, Wednesday Britain’s authority on etiquette, Debrett's, issued its first guidance on how to behave during the uber-American holiday.

Although the holiday originated with Europe's Celtic pagans to mark the end of summer — typically celebrated by bonfires to ward off evil spirits and children disguised as spirits of the underworld — it has only been recently that British stores have swelled with Halloween stock and trick-or-treaters have canvassed streets for candy.

"Good manners are very important," said Jo Bryant, etiquette adviser for Debrett's. "There has been a growing presence of Halloween over the past five years and we're receiving many more queries on how to behave."

Common questions are: Is it acceptable not to open one's doors to trick-or-treaters? How many times should children be allowed to ring a door bell before moving on? And can one forego a Halloween costume at a party?

Debrett's has posted its advice to the etiquette-challenged on its Web site, The Associated Press reports.

Halloween night brings trick-or-treaters to your door these days with their critical thinking skills on full major alert.

And as you deliver precisely one healthy "fun" bar to their waiting containers, they may just counter back with a searing critique of your contribution. So make sure you're doling out the good stuff - and lots of it - because the older the kid, the more risk of a run-in due to the candy quality control factor.

Now the first kids to appear on your porch are easy because they are the babies.

Charming little cuties, whose mom or dad bring them around the second it gets dark because with any luck parents can be through with the doorbell ringing and back home where little Fifi or Dweezil are hustled out of their costumes and into their footy p.j.'s by 7 p.m.

That's right; the first round of little ones are so caught up with the novelty of trick-or-treating, you can pretty much throw an old gym sock into their containers and they'll go away happy.

But the hypercritical thinkers come late, and you'll recognize them immediately. No good ever comes from the late arrival trick-or-treaters, Gilroy Dispatch reports.

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