Every now and then I run into something that really surprises me. Going to jail for setting off fireworks was one I just found.

Yesterday I wrote a story about when fireworks go on sale in South Dakota. In the process of looking up South Dakota law pertaining to it, I found out that not only are fireworks only allowed to be sold between June 27th and July 5th each year, but the act of setting them off outside of those dates is against the law.

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SDCL 34-37-16.1 states:

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor if the person uses consumer fireworks except during the period from June twenty-seventh to the first Sunday after July fourth, and during the period beginning December twenty-eighth to January first.

So if you live on a farm and you have some leftover artillery shells and decide that on July 6th you want to set them off, you are committing a Class 2 misdemeanor. So what is the punishment for something as silly as that?

As codified in SDCL 22-6-2, a Class 2 misdemeanor is perishable by up to thirty days in jail and a fine of up to $500, or the judge could give you both punishments. So you could spend a month in the clink because you set off some bottle rockets on July 6th.

It seems rather harsh to send someone away for a month for bottle rockets but it could happen. I googled to see if it has and could find any case of someone even being arrested for setting stuff off outside of the nine-day window, or the seven days between December 26th and New Years Day.

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