SOLEDAD — The Soledad Police Department issued 17 citations for illegal fireworks in the days leading up to the Fourth of July.
Approximately eight citations were issued on July 4 and the remainder were during the week of Independence Day.
According to Police Chief Eric Sills, there was only one illegal fireworks citation issued last year.
The City of Soledad recently issued an updated version of the fireworks rules and regulations allowing for only “Safe and Sane” fireworks within city limits. Those “Safe and Sane” fireworks could be used from June 28 to July 4 between the hours of noon and 11 p.m.
The consequences of violating the city’s fireworks laws was that the person or persons could be charged for all reasonable city response costs incurred in responding to illegal unpermitted possession, storage or discharge of fireworks. If the person(s) were found to be minors, their parents or legal guardians could be subject to payment of those costs.
Violating the city’s fireworks laws is considered a misdemeanor and has the potential of punishment by a fine of not less than $500 or imprisonment in jail for up to one year or both, if convicted. Also stated in the new law ordinance is “Alternatively, new law provides that individuals who violate provisions of the City Code can be fined $100 for first violation, $250 for the second violation within the same year, $500 for third violation within the same year.”
Sills also suggested to the City Council that they could consider increasing the fine amount for the next Fourth of July celebration.