Fines For Illegal Fourth of July Activities Are Steep

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One by one, customers pile into firework stands across Kanawha County.

Many like Shannon Farley says they're just looking for the basics..

"Just something small at the house for my son to enjoy," said Farley, "I plan on going downtown for the big stuff."

With a big extravaganza planned in Charleston, and strict limits on what you can buy, it's a common theme.

"Buying some fireworks to thrill my grand-daughter," said Paul Sutherland.

However, while customers are paying at the checkout, they could be paying someone else too.

"If they want to push the issue then we would write them and they are facing a lot of fines," said Captain Scott Elliott with the Dunbar Police Department.

With the Fourth of July falling on a Friday, creating a three day weekend, local law enforcement is expecting a busy holiday with lots of complaints.

The two biggest things they're looking for are loud explosions and illegal fireworks.

In West Virginia, bottle rockets, roman candles, firecrackers, mortar shells, sky rockets, and missiles are all illegal without a permit.

Many cities start enforcing noise ordinances around 11 P.M.

"We'll get out and go on foot and try to sneak up on the people to catch them," said Captain Elliott.

We checked in to see just what fines might be, and if you're written up, you're looking at $200 to $300.

Police say they want people to celebrate and have fun, just remember to do it responsibly.

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