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Mayor Supports MPD Enforcement of New State Law to Crack Down on Illegal Fireworks

Mayor Michael Victorino expressed his full support Friday to the Maui Police Department for its enforcement of a new state law to crack down on illegal aerial fireworks.

“Even before New Year’s Eve, many of our residents are frightened when they hear a ‘boom!’ from someone nearby setting off illegal fireworks,” Mayor Michael Victorino. “This unnerves our residents, scares children and family pets. This has got to stop!”

“I am in full support of the Maui Police Department enforcing a new law that, among other things, establishes criminal liability for a homeowner or renter who allows others, while on their property, to set off aerial fireworks,” Mayor Victorino said. “I hope this measure will help prosecute people using illegal aerial fireworks. There are legal ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve without being a neighborhood nuisance.”

It is illegal to import, transfer, sell or use aerial fireworks without a permit. Using aerial fireworks without a permit or license can be prosecuted as a Class C felony. Licensed applicants must have a pyrotechnics license from the State of Hawaii, among other requirements.

Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu said: “Thanks to new legislation the Department has been given new tools to address this community concern.”

Signed into law by Gov. David Ige on July 5, 2019, Act 248 strengthens Hawaii’s laws against illegal aerial fireworks by:

  • Establishing 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.
  • Setting criminal penalties, which can constitute a Class C felony, a misdemeanor or a fine of at least $500 and no more than $2,000.
  • Clarifying that for determining probable cause to make an arrest, the facts and circumstances may include but not be limited to: (1) statements from individuals who witnessed the offense, even if they’re not law enforcement officers; (2) photographs, video recordings or other recordings that show the commission of the offense that can be authenticated by one or more witnesses; provided that a recording made using an unmanned aerial vehicle shall be exempt from the requirement for authentication by one or more witnesses.

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