3743.68 Violators.

(A) The fire marshal, an assistant fire marshal, or a certified fire safety inspector may arrest, or may cause the arrest of, any person whom the fire marshal, assistant fire marshal, or certified fire safety inspector finds in the act of violating, or who the fire marshal, assistant fire marshal, or certified fire safety inspector has reasonable cause to believe has violated, sections 3743.60 to 3743.66 of the Revised Code. Any arrest shall be made in accordance with statutory and constitutional provisions governing arrests by law enforcement officers.

(B) If the fire marshal, an assistant fire marshal, or certified fire safety inspector has probable cause to believe that fireworks are being manufactured, sold, possessed, transported, or used in violation of this chapter, the fire marshal, assistant fire marshal, or certified fire safety inspector may seize the fireworks. Any seizure of fireworks shall be made in accordance with statutory and constitutional provisions governing searches and seizures by law enforcement officers. The fire marshal's or certified fire safety inspector's office shall impound at the site or safely keep seized fireworks pending the time they are no longer needed as evidence. A sample of the seized fireworks is sufficient for evidentiary purposes. The remainder of the seized fireworks may be disposed of pursuant to an order from a court of competent jurisdiction after notice and a hearing.

Fireworks manufactured, sold, possessed, transported, or used in violation of this chapter shall be forfeited by the violator. The fire marshal's or certified fire safety inspector's office shall dispose of seized fireworks pursuant to the procedures specified in sections 2981.11 to 2981.13 of the Revised Code for the disposal of forfeited property by law enforcement agencies, and the fire marshal or that office is not liable for claims for the loss of or damages to the seized fireworks.

(C) This section does not affect the authority of a peace officer, as defined in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code, to make arrests for violations of this chapter or to seize fireworks manufactured, sold, possessed, transported, or used in violation of this chapter.

(D) Any fines imposed for a violation of this chapter relating to the sale, purchase, possession, or discharge of fireworks shall be distributed in the following manner if a municipal corporation, county, or township either filed or enforced the complaint regarding the violation. One-half of the amount of the fine shall be distributed to the municipal corporation, county, or township which filed the complaint regarding the violation and one-half of the amount of the fine shall be distributed to the municipal corporation, county, or township which enforced the complaint. If the same municipal corporation, county, or township both filed the complaint regarding the violation and enforced the complaint, the entire amount of the fine shall be distributed to that municipal corporation, county, or township.

Cite as R.C. § 3743.68

History. Effective Date: 06-29-2001; 07-01-2007