BRPD urges safety ahead of July 4 festivities
BATON ROUGE - Local law enforcement wants everyone to have a fun, but safe, Fourth of July and have some safety tips and information to make it happen.
The big three safety concerns mentioned by BRPD Chief Carl Dabadie are fireworks, guns and drunk driving. Dabadie said officers will be on the lookout for violators all the way through the holiday and weekend.
Police wish to remind citizens that fireworks are illegal everywhere within the city limits of Baton Rouge, in addition to all of East Baton Rouge parish, and will be confiscated if found. Violators could face criminal charges.
Fireworks are allowed in the following parishes:
- Iberville Parish
- West Feliciana Parish
- East Feliciana Parish
- St. Helena Parish
- WBR Parish
Some surrounding parishes only allow fireworks in rural areas outside of city limits:
- Ascension Parish
- Livingston Parish
- Point Coupee Parish
- Assumption Parish
Chief Dabadie also said officers will strictly enforce the law against anyone caught in the act of firing a gun into the air.
Several sobriety checkpoints are planned and patrols will be actively looking for drunk or impaired drivers on roads throughout the city as holiday celebrations commence, according to Dabadie.
BRPD also encourages citizens who plan to turn out for the downtown Fourth of July event and fireworks display to observe the event's rules to ensure a safe time for all. Chief Dabadie said there will be "zero tolerance" for criminal activity at the event, and over 100 uniformed officers will be on patrol throughout the downtown area for the festivities.
Ice chests, BBQ pits, tents and pets are not allowed to be brought into the grounds so police encourage festival-goers to prepare accordingly. Police encouraged motorists to arrive at the event early if they are driving and be aware of downtown exit ramp closures on the interstate. Motorists are reminded to use all available entrances into the downtown area including River Road, North Street, Laurel Street, Florida Blvd., North Blvd., Government Street and Convention Street in order to reduce traffic jams.
Law enforcement intends to clear the area as soon as the event ends and said loitering will not be tolerated.
WBRZ.com will keep a list of Independence Day events updated throughout the holiday.