Fireworks light up the sky above the Mendenhall Valley the evening of Dec. 31, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Fireworks light up the sky above the Mendenhall Valley the evening of Dec. 31, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Police talk fireworks and New Year’s Eve safety

Don’t celebrate the end of 2020 too hard.

With the end of a long year upon us, the Juneau Police Department has some advice to end 2020 on a good note.

“The New Year is almost here,” said JPD Lt. Krag Campbell in a news release. “The Juneau Police Department will be increasing DUI enforcement over New Year’s Eve. If you choose to drink, do so responsibly and please don’t drink and drive.”

The Juneau Crime Line is offering enhanced rewards for reporting DUIs over the New Year’s Eve period, Campbell said. Reports of drunken driving to JPD that result in arrests could lead to a reward of up to $400.

“Don’t drink and drive,” said Capital City Fire/Rescue assistant chief Ed Quinto in a phone interview. “Be considerate if you’re using fireworks. Be careful.”

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 10,000 people were treated in hospitals across the country for injuries resulting from fireworks in 2018. Those planning on setting off fireworks should be familiar with the City and Borough of Juneau’s fireworks regulations.

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All fireworks legal for use in Alaska are permitted for use from 10 a.m. on Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. on Jan 1. After a pause of several hours, use is permitted from 10 a.m. to midnight on Jan 1. Use of fireworks during the pause is a fineable offense, Campbell said.

“Using fireworks during this time is a violation of the city’s disturbing the peace ordinance and could result in a fine of $300; It’s also very rude to your neighbors,” Campbell said. “On top of that, when people use fireworks outside the allowable hours, it diverts police resources to respond to noise complaints, rather than things like DUI patrols.”

All fireworks are also permitted for use beyond Cohen Drive from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on other days of the year.

“The Juneau Police Department would like to wish everyone a happy New Year,” Campbell said. “Wear your mask, maintain social responsibilities and be safe.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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