Many locals know Morris Island to be a cool place to hang out, especially on the Fourth of July, but if partygoers aren’t careful a hefty fine can may dampen all of that fun.

Charleston Police Lt. Jason Emanuele said above all, Morris Island is a city park and deserves to be respected.

The area has had problems with littering and drinking in the past, but it’s important to remember partying at a city park doesn’t come without its rules.

Look to posted signs for the city’s take on what not to do, including no drinking, no littering and no dogs off leashes.

Having a beer at the park during July 4 activities is tempting, but may not be worth the risk.

A public drunkenness fine can run as high as $179 and having an open container can cost you $262, according to the Charleston Municipal Court.

Littering fines are even steeper. If caught tossing a bottle off the side of a boat, expect to pay a $470 ticket.

“Littering can be a little bit challenging for us because you have to see people pack up their camp, head out and leave the trash behind. ... Observing alcohol, that’s a little bit more immediate,” Emanuele said.

Charleston police won’t be alone in paroling the city park for infractions. Emanuele said several agencies, including maritime law enforcement and the Department of Natural Resources, all have jurisdiction throughout the local hangout.

“One of the reasons that the city is rather protective of Morris Island is because it’s a rather historic place. ... It’s not right to damage all of its history just because it seems like a nice place to party,” Emanuele said.

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