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Read up on Galveston 4th of July Activities and Important Laws

Fireworks over Galveston Bay

Tylka Law attorneys live and work in Galveston Island and League City, Texas.  While we work hard to serve our clients, we also love to enjoy Galveston over the 4th of July.

There is a lot going on in Galveston over the 4th of July.  While most of the activities are harmless and fun, the weather, added tourism and drinking often complicates things.  We have comprised a list of activities, important ordinances to help you prevent any unnecessary run-ins with the law.

4th of July Activities

According to Galveston.com, Galveston Island will celebrate its 2019 Independence Day for three days.

The first night, July 4th, will start with a parade featuring a procession of floats, decorated military vehicles, high school marching bands and performers. The parade will begin at 7:00pm on 59th Street and end on at 25th Street. After the parade, the island will host a 20-minute fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico at 9:15 p.m. near 37th Street and Seawall Boulevard. If you prefer to sit and have a drink, there are several restaurants and bars around that area.

On July 5th and 6th, the “Bands on the Sand” concert series is hosted over at Moody Gardens.  A fireworks display will follow the concert on both nights.

For out-of-towners, please note that Galveston rains may surprise you.  While rain may postpone the fireworks show, it certainly impedes drivers that don’t know the area.  If you are driving and your visibility is reduced due to the rain, pull over and park until the rain stops.  We have had many clients get into accidents just after a sudden cloud-burst.

While we’re on the topic of fireworks, we should mention that Galveston beaches do not allow personal fireworks of any kind.  This is to prevent serious injury often caused by misuse of fireworks.

Galveston Beach Laws

If you’re planning a relaxing weekend on the beach, there are a few important local laws to remember:

Pets & Dogs

Galveston beaches (and most Texas beaches) allow pets.  You will need to keep your pet on a leash, and for the sake of all of us, please clean up after your pet.  There are few things more disgusting than stepping on pet poop with bare feet.

ATVs & Off-Roading

Parts of Galveston beaches permit ATVs, 4-Wheelers, Dirt Bikes and the like.  There will be visible “Vehicle Access” signage for off-road vehicles.

Fires & Bonfires

Fires are allowed on the beach, but only in contained formats such as a grill or hibachi.  Open fires over the sand are not allowed.  You will need to have a fire extinguisher and/or bucket of water nearby to quench your fire (in case it gets out of control).  You will also need to dispose of coals in a controlled area.  Do NOT bury coals in the sand, this can lead to substantial injuries to you or other beach-goers.

Texas Personal Watercraft Laws & Accident Prevention

If you plan on boating during the 4th of July weekend, please adhere to Texas boating laws.  In our opinion, the State of Texas has some pretty common-sense boating laws that should be easy to follow for any boat owner or tour boat company.  We’re going over laws for larger, motorized boats below.

Boats (no matter the size) MUST be equipped with a personal flotation device such as a life-jacket.  This is of course to protect the life of the crew and passengers in case of a catastrophic emergency.

Any boat must have a sound-producing device including a horn and a whistle.  Boats larger than 12 feet must also carry a bell.

All motorized boats must be lit after sunset and before sunrise.  Some manually-powered boats (including sailboats and rowboats) may or may not be required to have a light on the boat.  Please read this section in detail if you own a manually-powered boat.

All motorized boats must include the following:

  1. Mirrors
  2. A Fire Extinguisher
  3. Flame-Arresters (backfire flame control)
  4. Muffler (installed on the engine)

Older boat engines have a higher failure rate and are responsible for a greater percentage of accidents.  Many of our clients that suffer injuries from boating accidents mention the surprisingly old age of the boat they were on.  It is unfortunately common to hear.

Drinking on the Beach

Galveston Island (and most Texas beaches) allows alcohol.  There are however NO glass containers allowed.  This is to prevent injury as glass bottles can break and bury themselves in sand.  Any other container types (aluminum, plastic, etc) are fine.

Drunk driving is a big issue here on the 4th of July due to the increase in tourism.  If you feel even a little tipsy, please find a place to sober up.  Legal fees for drunk driving can exceed $10,000.  This doesn’t include license suspension or revocation, jail time, and potential lawsuits for injuries or death.  It’s much cheaper to grab a bite at a 24/7 restaurant somewhere, or to take taxi or Uber home.

Other Galveston/Houston Legal Advice

If you have questions or need any legal assistance over Memorial Day weekend, call Tylka Law Galveston/Houston personal injury attorneys today.  We are always happy to help.  No matter where you are, have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!

We would like to thank the following sources:

Tylka Law Firm represents clients in League City, Texas, and throughout surrounding areas, including Galveston, Houston, Jefferson County, Chambers County, Alvin, Angleton, Texas City, Baytown, Pearland, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Harris County and throughout the Texas Gulf Coast.

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