Mesquite to address illegal fireworks, gunfire and DWI for Independence Day holiday

In Mesquite, it is illegal to possess or use fireworks and to shoot a gun into the air. In advance of the July 4th weekend, the city of Mesquite is reminding the community about those laws as well as motorists about the dangers and penalties of driving while intoxicated (DWI). The Celebrate Safely campaign is about public education and public safety enforcement on fireworks, firearms and DWIs.

Police Chief Charles Cato said, “With public events being canceled due to COVID-19 to avoid large crowds, there are news reports that the fireworks industry is expecting a record-breaking year in sales. Our message to those in Mesquite with fireworks is that our deployment teams will be out in neighborhoods; we will seize your illegal fireworks and issue you a citation. And, for those who choose to participate in celebratory gun fire, we will arrest you for firing a gun into the air.”

“Firing a gun into the air can kill someone. According to the Center for Disease Control, a bullet falling back to the ground has so much force it can penetrate the human skull and the statistics on the dangers fireworks are just as scary. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that burns account for 44 percent of the injuries treated in emergency rooms around the July 4th holiday and 36 percent of fireworks injuries are children under age 15,” said Fire Chief Mark Kerby.

The city is adding the dangers of DWI to its Celebrate Safely messaging. The Mesquite Police Department (MPD) is joining forces with the Texas Department of Transportation and other law enforcement agencies across Texas to keep streets safe. Extra officers will be out in force throughout the holiday weekend looking for impaired and intoxicated drivers. Cato shared that on Memorial Day weekend MPD officers made 15 DWI arrests.

The penalties for fireworks, gunfire and DWI in Mesquite can be costly.

  • Up to $17,000 in fines, possible jail time and loss of a driver’s license for drivers who get a DWI.
  • As much as $4,000 and the possibility of up to one year in jail for the illegal discharge of a firearm.
  • Up to $835 in city fines and court costs for the discharge of illegal fireworks.
  • Up to $585 in city fines and court costs for the possession of illegal fireworks.

To report this illegal activity, the public should contact the city and provide the address of the incident, as this will help police and fire with their response efforts.

  • For gunfire reports, call non-emergency dispatch at 972-285-6336.
  • For fireworks reports, call non-emergency dispatch at 972-285-6336, email fireworks@mesquitepolice.org or use the Police Web Report tool at www.cityofmesquite.com/CelebrateSafely  
  • If you spot a car being driven in a dangerous manner and it may be a DWI – stay away and call 911
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