POLICE WARN REVELERS TO OBEY NEW FIREWORKS LAW ON JULY 4

POLICE WARN REVELERS TO OBEY NEW FIREWORKS LAW ON JULY 4

The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department, the Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Service Department and the New Mexico State Police have created plans for a multi-agency, countywide crackdown to enforce Doña Ana County’s new fireworks laws beginning Friday, July 4.

The community of Chaparral will be heavily patrolled, as will the Santa Teresa area.

Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department deputies, State Police officers and county fire officials will issue citations related to the possession or use of illegal fireworks. Each citation carries a fine of up to $300 and/or 90 days in jail.

In addition, saturation patrols and checkpoints will be employed to identify, arrest and jail impaired drivers.

“This will be a no-leniency enforcement effort designed to enhance community safety,” said Doña Ana County Fire Marshal Paul Chavez. “The Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners passed this ordinance and gave us the responsibility to enforce it. With our partners at the New Mexico State Police and at the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department, we’ll be committing resources this year in a way that is unprecedented.”

A unified command center will be located in Chaparral near the area of historically worst congestion, and officers from all participating agencies will bring confiscated illegal fireworks to that station for processing as evidence. Impaired drivers will be held for mass booking at the Doña Ana County Detention Center later in the evening.

The Chaparral Volunteer Fire Department will coordinate fire response in that community with assistance from the volunteer fire departments in Doña Ana, Rincon and La Union. The Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority will assist with call priorities.

Chavez said the Otero County Sheriff’s Department also will provide law-enforcement assistance on the Otero County side of Chaparral.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.