December 30, 2016

Being safe and legal as you celebrate the New Year

Just some reminders from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to all those planning to celebrate the New Year in the Florida Keys.


Many people light fireworks to welcome the new year. Please keep in mind they can be dangerous, not just to those who are lighting them but to people’s property as well.

With the very windy weather we have been experiencing in the Keys over past days, the Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to pay close attention to their surroundings when using fireworks. Sparks can blow quite a distance and can ignite burnable material such as tiki huts.

Keep in mind that explosive fireworks are not legal to use in Florida. If we catch you with illegal explosive fire crackers, we will confiscate them and could charge you with a violation of Florida law.


If you decide to use legal fireworks, keep in mind that there are noise ordinances throughout the Keys which generally make it against the law to create a loud disturbance after 11 p.m. Be courteous to your neighbors as you make your plans for celebrating the New Year.


If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure you do not drive. Stay home, designate a sober driver or call a cab to take you where you need to go. Do NOT provide alcohol to minors, even in your own home. It is against the law and you can be arrested for it.


Please make sure to take a few moments to clean up after yourself and/or your family as you wrap up your celebrations. Discard trash properly, in a trash can or a recycling container. It isn’t fair or legal to leave it on the ground or in the water for someone else to clean up; you could be charged with littering.


One last caution: don’t even consider shooting off a firearm to bring in the new year. Discharging a firearm in public is illegal and very dangerous. The old adage “what goes up must come down” applies to bullets and a bullet shot up into the air can come down and kill someone.

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