Avoid fines by checking legality of lighting fireworks - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Avoid fines by checking legality of lighting fireworks

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

For many, it wouldn't be Independence Day without setting off some noisy and colorful fireworks.  And there's no problem with availability in Southwest Louisiana.

 But just because you can buy them nearby, doesn't mean they are legal to use where you live.

 For instance, lighting consumer fireworks is illegal in the city limits of Lake Charles, as assistant D.A. Taylor Prejean explains.

"As long as you're in the city limits of Lake Charles, city ordinances do prohibit the use of fireworks inside the city limits," he said.

 Consumer fireworks are allowed in the outlying areas of Calcasieu Parish, that means outside the cities, however not in parish parks.

Prejean says depending on where you break the law the penalty could include fines, court costs and even up to 30 days in jail.

"Basically you're looking at a misdemeanor crime, typical penalty, couple hundred dollars, court costs and maybe some jail time," he said.

And of course, if fireworks cause serious problems there can be serious consequences:

"It is important to remember that while these ordinances, they are misdemeanor crimes, while they do seem minor, there can be serious consequences if you were to damage someone's property or if there were to be a house fire where someone was injured," Prejean said. "That could escalate the consequences really quickly."  

 So, have a happy and safe Fourth of July and make sure you don't wind up getting a ticket or suffering something even worse. 

If in doubt about whether it’s legal to shoot fireworks where you live, call your police, fire or sheriff’s department.

Lake Charles Police is 337-491-1311. Lake Charles Fire Department is 337-491-1360.

Calcasieu Sheriff's Department is 337-491-3700.

For tips on safe handling of fireworks click HERE. Here's more information from the National Fire Protection Association and the National Council for Fireworks Safety.

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved

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