Halloween is typically a dangerous night for driving here in Houston. Not only are trick-or-treating youngsters darting out from between parked cars and jaywalking, but there are also more than the usual number of drunk drivers.

Halloween is, after all, a time for adults to dress in costumes and head out to parties where alcohol flows freely. Law enforcement is aware of that and will be out in force to nab those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Parents of trick-or-treaters should do all they can to ensure their kids’ safety this Halloween. That means making sure that a responsible adult accompanies the young ones on their rounds and that older kids know the safety rules. It’s always good to go over them again, reinforcing that some drivers may not be paying close attention or may even be wearing masks behind the wheel — a really bad idea, but it happens.

If your child gets hurt by an impaired driver while trick-or-treating on Halloween night, you need to do all that you can to hold the driver responsible for their negligent and criminal actions. After all, Halloween trick-or-treating is a treasured rite of childhood passage. To have it marred by an auto accident where a small child is mowed down is unthinkable.

There are two routes to justice in such cases — criminal and civil. Certainly, the police will get involved if there is a pedestrian-auto collision. Parents can also seek a path to justice by filing a personal injury lawsuit in the Harris County civil court system.