Maui News

Maui police to conduct fireworks enforcement during New Year’s weekend

December 30, 2021, 11:20 AM HST
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PC: Central Maui fireworks (New Year’s Eve 2020) by Art Welsh

The Maui Police Department announced that firework enforcement operations will be held throughout Maui County over the New Year’s weekend.

The public is reminded that it is illegal to import, transfer, sell, or use aerial fireworks without a permit. “The law establishes criminal liability for a homeowner, renter, or person responsible for real property who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly allows an individual to possess, set off, ignite or cause to explode any aerial device while on the real property,” police said.

The law also sets criminal penalties, which can constitute a Class C felony, a misdemeanor, or a fine of at least $500 and no more than $2,000.

“Witness statements, photographs, and video recordings that show the offense that can be authenticated by one or more witnesses are sufficient when officers arrive on the scene,” according to police.

As a reminder, consumer fireworks can only be legally ignited from 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Since being sworn into office two weeks ago, Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said he keeps getting asked about fireworks. He addressed the matter during the Mayor’s press briefing on Wednesday afternoon. “Realize this: We want you to celebrate. There’s some incredible things that were fought for. There’s some people who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and one particular day in July we tend to honor that; and with the turning of a new year, we celebrate that as well,” he said.

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“If it’s legal and lawful, we want you to enjoy it,” said Chief Pelletier.

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A fireworks permit is not required for consumer fireworks such as sparklers, snakes, and cylindrical or cone fountains which emit effects not higher than 12 feet off the ground; however, a fireworks permit is required for the use of fire crackers.

“If it’s illegal fireworks, it’s a Class C felony [and] it’s a $2,000 fine,” said Chief Pelletier, calling it a public safety issue. “Though you may think it’s harmless to fire something off, people lose limbs, we know people burn down houses, and it’s usually the innocent person who is affected.”

Chief John Pelletier. PC: (Dec. 22, 2021) County of Maui / Akakū

The Maui Fire Department advises: “The best way to stay safe is to not use fireworks in the first place … Leave fireworks to the professionals.”

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There are two public aerial fireworks displays planned in Maui County this year–in South Maui from a barge offshore of the Grand Wailea Resort, and at the Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi from the laydown area at 1 Mānele Bay Road. Both displays begin at approximately 11:59 p.m. on New Yearʻs Eve, Dec. 31, 2021.

A full list of rules, regulations and guidelines for Maui are available here.

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