California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 653.1

(a) No person or group shall release, outdoors, balloons made of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air, as part of a public or civic event, promotional activity, or product advertisement.

(b) Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100).  Any person who violates this section who has been previously convicted twice of violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(c) This section shall not apply to manned hot air balloons, or to balloons used in governmental or scientific research projects.

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