On the Fourth of July, Santa Barbara residents celebrate the birth of our
country by hosting barbeques and pool parties, enjoying the beach, and
setting off fireworks. However, it is important to understand that fireworks
are illegal in most of Santa Barbara County.
But if you plan on lighting up fireworks of your own, you can only purchase,
possess, and use “safe and sane” fireworks in three northern
Santa Barbara County cities--Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Guadalupe. These
cities allow the sale of state-sanctioned fireworks--that do not project
into the sky--at booths operated by nonprofit organizations, while they
may be used typically between morning and late a night. Outside of Santa
Barbara County, safe and sane fireworks are also legally sold in Fillmore,
Oceano, Arroyo Grande, and Grover Beach.
A person is not allowed to transport or set off fireworks purchased at
these designated cities in any other city in Santa Barbara County. Law
enforcement is likely to be patrolling the streets and neighborhoods throughout
Any caught in possession of fireworks of any kind within city limits--outside
of the “safe and sane” cities--could face misdemeanor or felony
charges, punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000. Furthermore, possession
of more than a pound of illegal fireworks is considered a felony, resulting
in possible jail time.
Remember, thousands of people--typically children and teens--are injured
due to the use of illegal fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection
Association, approximately 9,300 injuries and 32,000 fires result from
fireworks in the United States.
Appel & Morse, our
Santa Barbara criminal defense attorneys recommend the best way to view fireworks is to attend one of the public
fireworks displays conducted by professional pyro-technicians hired by
local establishments. Not only do you avoid arrest, but also prevent injury.
Our experienced legal team wishes everyone a happy and safe Independence Day!
If you have been arrested for violating county fireworks law,
contact us and request a free criminal consultation today.