CCSO: Things you need to know for July 4th

fireworks copyTo the Editor:

It is only a few days until the beginning of the July 4th weekend, so here are some things to bear in mind to help make it a safer and perhaps less stressful holiday.

Fireworks

In the State of Florida, the private use of fireworks is considered illegal. “Fireworks” that are illegal include firecrackers, skyrockets and roman candles, but do not include sparklers, glow worms, party poppers or smoke devices. And while there are obvious safety concerns with the use of fireworks that explode, there can also be issues with using the legal items, like sparklers, if they are not handled appropriately. Each year the Sheriff’s Office responds to numerous complaints of illegal fireworks going off, disturbing neighbors. Extra personnel will be out over the weekend to handle these types of complaints.

Freedom Swim Parking

Those who plan to participate in the traditional Freedom Swim across the Peace River will have limited parking on the north side of the river. Due to construction, the previously ‘vacant’ area at the north end of the northbound bridge will be closed to public parking. There will be limited public parking available in the Bayshore Live Oak Park, but many areas will likely be marked as ‘no parking’ areas. Deputies will be patrolling the Charlotte Harbor area near the bridges Saturday morning.

DUI / BUI

Independence Day is typically a time when people crank up the grills and fill the coolers. But, as with any time during the year, if you are planning to consume alcoholic beverages, be sure you have a designated driver. And not just for travelling on the roads, but also on the waterways. The Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit will be out this weekend looking for impaired boaters, just as deputies patrolling the roadways will be looking for impaired drivers.

Debbie Bowe

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office

Punta Gorda