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Thirty-three to pay for fireworks use

 | Published on 7/7/2010

Illegal fireworks led to 33 $1,000 citations, technically an administrative arrest, in San Bruno and Pacifica over the holiday weekend — accounting for a drop in bookings for both cities. 

In the 24-hour Fourth of July period, 15 people in San Bruno and 18 people in Pacifica were given $1,000 fines, which constitutes as an administrative arrest. San Bruno also had one felony arrest and a juvenile arrest related to fireworks, said police Cmdr. Matt Campi. For both cities, this showed a drop in arrests and the holiday passed without serious incident. 

In Pacifica, 18 people were arrested for illegal fireworks between the hours of midnight Sunday, July 4 and 6 a.m. Monday, July 5, said Pacifica police Capt. Dave Bertini. 

That was a drop in arrests for Pacifica. Bertini attributed the lower numbers to a combination of the Fourth falling on a Sunday, more people going out of town, and people having less cash to spend on fireworks. 

San Bruno had 13 $1,000 citations on July 4 and two given in the early morning hours of July 5, said Campi. 

Overall calls for service to the San Bruno Police Department on the Fourth of July are down. Last year, there were 208 calls compared to 132 this year, he said.

San Bruno and Pacifica are the only cities in San Mateo County that allow the sale of fireworks. All police and fire staff in both cities worked this holiday, with Pacifica getting extra help from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. As it was last year, both cities will enforce a $1,000 fine for possession of up to 25 pounds of illegal fireworks — a measure they hope will act as a deterrent.

Using, selling or having illegal fireworks in San Bruno and Pacifica will come with a steep fine and the possibility of jail time. A 2008 state law allowed both cities to punish those in possession of 25 pounds or less of dangerous fireworks with up to $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail.

Police were also on the lookout for drunk drivers this holiday weekend. In San Mateo County, there were 36 DUI arrests, 12 on Friday, six on Saturday, 10 from Sunday and eight on Monday, according to CaliforniaAvoid.org. There were no fatal alcohol-related accidents.