Ask A Trooper: How does the ‘hands-free’ law affect drivers under 18?

Question: What are the laws about fireworks in Minnesota? Can you provide some safety tips for those who plan on purchasing their own fireworks?

Answer: Here are some safety tips provided by the Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division. 

If you purchase your own fireworks: 

• Remember that if it flies or explodes, it is illegal in Minnesota. You could face fines and confiscation of illegal fireworks.

• Use them in an open area, away from houses and other structures.

• Light them on a solid and non-combustible surface.

• Use a long lighter meant for a gas grill to light fireworks, and stay as far from the wick as possible.

• Dispose of spent fireworks in water or sand.

• Do not relight a dud.

• Ensure children are supervised.

• Follow the instructions on the package carefully.

• Never use them while intoxicated. 

During this Fourth of July holiday period, law enforcement will have extra patrols that will be looking for those who choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence.

No matter how much you intend to drink, plan for a safe ride – designate a sober driver, take a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the party. 

Sgt. Neil Dickenson is Minnesota State Patrol Public Information Officer for the state’s northeast region. Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues to neil.dickenson@state.mn or by mail to Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth MN 55811. Follow Dickenson on Twitter at @MSPPIO_NE. 

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