With the 4th of July holiday right around the corner, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for special enforcement of OWI/DUI offenses, traffic offenses, and offenses related to fireworks. Here are a few reminders from our drunk driving and criminal defense law firm:
Possession of fireworks and their use is legislated in Section 167.10 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Fireworks are defined as “anything manufactured, processed or packaged for exploding, emitting sparks or combustion which does not have another common use.” All items that meet the definition of fireworks are illegal in Wisconsin without a proper permit, though there are certain exceptions, including:
- Sparklers – A sparkler on a wire or wood stick not exceeding 36 inches in length that is designed to produce audible or visible effects or to produce audible and visible effects;
- Confetti – A device designed to spray out paper confetti or streamers and which contains less than one-quarter grain of explosive mixture;
- A fuseless device that is designed to produce audible or visible effects or audible and visible effects, and that contains less than one-quarter grain of explosive mixture;
- A device that is designed primarily to burn pyrotechnic smoke-producing mixtures, at a controlled rate, and that produces audible or visible effects, or audible and visible effects.
- A novelty device that spins or moves on the ground.
Essentially, as long as the device remains on the ground or does not fire a projectile, it would generally be considered legal. You can face up to a $1,000 fine and almost all local municipalities have their own rules related to fireworks. You should contact your local municipality to obtain a permit to shoot off any type of firework that does not meet one of the exceptions in the statute. If you are cited for a violation, remember that hiring a criminal defense attorney could result in lessened charges or a lower fine.
Holiday OWI/DUI/Underage Drinking Enforcement
Whether on the roads or on the lake, the 4th of July holiday is usually a time for increased enforcement of alcohol related laws. There are also numerous holiday festivals going on in local communities, as well as Summerfest in Milwaukee. Pay careful attention to roads that are either blocked off or restricted in these areas. Do not give the police a reason to pull you over – make sure your lights are on, make sure the occupants of your vehicle are wearing seat belts, don’t blast loud music, and follow traffic signals.
Need a criminal defense attorney?
If you do find yourself pulled over, be polite with the officer and provide him with your identification. If you are arrested, do NOT give a statement without speaking to one of our criminal defense attorneys. It may be a holiday weekend, but one of our defense lawyers is always available and will return your call as soon as possible. If you need our assistance, do not hesitate to contact our law firm! Happy 4th of July!