Warren Mayor Warns Of $1,000 Fine For Fireworks Violations

Extra police will be on patrol this week

July 02, 2019 - 2:01 pm
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WARREN (WWJ) - The City of Warren is cracking down on fireworks users who break the law. 

Visiting fireworks vendors with police on Tuesday, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said he wants them to help with an informational campaign about a hefty fine for fireworks violations.

"You can face up to a $1,000 fine if you're shooting fireworks under the influence of alcohol, or if you are allowing a minor to shoot fireworks off, or if you are impeding traffic in the middle of a city street," Fouts said.

"The reason for that is, I want our streets free so that the EMS, fire and police all on emergency runs will not be impeded by people shooting fireworks off in the middle of the street. In addition that I have other concerns: I don't want people shooting off fireworks within 30 feet of one's home."

Fouts said extra police officers will be out on patrol this 4th of July week, looking for violators. 

"We give warning tickets," the mayor said. "As I said the way that you are likely to get a ticket would be under the influence of alcohol. That one could either give you a large ticket, or in some cases we put some people in jail for that."

Fouts said the goal is not to write a lot of tickets or make arrests, but instead to make people behave responsibly when it comes to fireworks.

State fireworks law -- House Bill 5939, amended in 2018 -- requires that consumer-grade fireworks only be ignited from personal property. It is illegal to ignite fireworks on public property, including streets and sidewalks, school property, church property, or another person's property without their permission. State law also makes it illegal to discharge fireworks when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

While the law give local governments the right to restrict by local ordinance the days and times for their residents to use consumer fireworks, the bill states that local governments cannot prohibit consumer fireworks on the following dates:

  • Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1
  • Saturday & Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days.
  • June 29 to July 4 until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days.
  • July 5, if that date is a Friday or Saturday, until 11:45 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days.

Fouts said, personally, he isn't thrilled with the extended window in July. "It's a week of unlimited barrage of fireworks and I think that's too much for anybody, any reasonable person...I don't think you need a week," the mayor said. "Because, simply put, a lot of people have to get up, go to work, they have small children, they have pets and they have other issues that don't want to be confronted with the continual barrage of fireworks every night for a week in a row."

If you're not sure of your city or townships rules surrounding fireworks, check with your local authorities.