The enforcement of a new Hawai‘i state law criminalizing illegal aerial fireworks has the full support of Maui Mayor Michael Victorino. Victorino expressed his support to the Maui Police Department on Dec. 13 for its enforcement of the new law that 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.

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

“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 Hawai‘i, among other requirements.

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

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

Suzanne Kayian is a Maui-based writer, public relations specialist and social media zealot. With more than 20 years experience, Suzanne has contributed to a variety of publications ranging from local independent...

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