Police back on party patrol

      EUGENE, Ore. - When the sun comes out, eugene police say so do parties.

      But they add when the parties kick off, police are ready.

      "Due to the weather and increased activity, we'll be starting our party patrol again," said Lt. Carolyn Mason with the Eugene Police.

      Officers will be responding to anything considered to be an unruly gathering.

      According to the City of Eugene's social host ordinance, any gathering falls into that category if it violates two or more behaviors of things like noise disturbance, public urination, littering and more.

      Lt. Mason said it's really not the size of the party that matters.

      "You know it varies," she said. "We get calls on five people on the front porch. It just depends on where they're at in relation to other homeowners."

      The social host ordinance has been in place for about year. Mason said it's too soon to tell if it's calmed local parties.

      Students told NewsSource 16 they think it's made people think twice about hosting a get together.

      "I think that it would almost provoke people to go out more as opposed to having people over at their house because I think that's the risk factor in that whole deal, with you know the noise violations you can get, and having more than a few people at your house," said Siena Palmacci.

      "You're going to invite people, but they're also going to invite people," said Nicholas Kenny of Eugene, "so I guess kind of sort of try to regulate that."

      Party Management Tips courtesy of the Eugene Police Department

      Respect your neighbors. Find ways to celebrate that do not infringe upon your neighbors and that are alcohol-free.

      Control the guest list.
      "Come one, come all" parties usually result in police contact. Have a door monitor to screen guests. Don't let random people who walk around looking for parties, into your house.

      Adults only. If you choose to serve alcohol, ensure that you only serve to persons 21 years of age or older.

      Plan ahead. Notify neighbors well in advance of the date, times and location of the party. Give them a telephone number and the name of the person to contact if there is a problem (and be responsive to their calls!).

      Monitor noise levels. Keep doors and windows closed to reduce outside noise levels.
      Discourage drinking games. Have a non-drinking person serving alcohol and don't let people carry alcoholic beverages outside of your party.
      Clean it up. Your neighbors may be more tolerant of your next party if you clean up promptly after this one. Clean up debris from your yard or the street.
      Safety first. If you are concerned for a friend's medical safetysuch as suspected alcohol poisoningcall 9-1-1 immediately.

      Prevent drunk driving. Arrange for transportation by a designated driver before anyone drinks. Make sure arrangements are understood by everyone. Ensure people don't drive under the influence (a person riding a bicycle under the influence may also be arrested for DUII). As the party host, you are also liable.

      What if your party gets out of control?
      If your party gets out of hand, call the police. EPD will come out and help you regain control.
      Respond positively if a police officer comes to your house. The officer most likely is responding to a complaint. Make sure the person interacting with police officers at the front door is sober and able to be responsive to officers' requests. Citing the Unruly Gathering Ordinance: it is an affirmative defense to a citation issued for a violation that the person who organized or hosted an unruly gathering contacted the police as soon as any of the violations or offenses listed in the definition of "unruly gathering" occurred.

      Interfering with police officers makes a bad situation worse. Use common sense and be cooperative.
      When a police officer asks you to clear an area, leave right away. If you stick around to see what's happening, you may be in a situation where you are interfering with a police officer. If police warn that they are going to use tear gas, you need to quickly get as far away as you can.\

      Frequently Violated Ordinances and Laws

      Minor in Possession (MIP):

      No person under the age of 21 shall attempt to purchase, acquire or have in their possession any alcoholic liquor (Eugene City Code 4.115 or Oregon Revised Statute 471.430), nor have in their system any alcoholic liquor (ECC 4.115).
      Offense: Violation Fine: Up to $360

      Minor Falsely Representing Age:

      A person less than a certain age who knowingly purports to be older with the intent of securing a right, benefit or privilege which by law is denied under that certain age (ECC 4.145).
      Offense: Crime Fine: Up to $500 (jailable)

      Giving False Information to a Police Officer:

      Knowingly uses or gives a false name, address, or birthdate to an officer issuing a citation (ECC 4.906).
      Offense: Crime Fine: Up to $2,500 (jailable)
      Possession of a Forged Instrument (Fake ID):
      A person commits the crime of possession of a forged instrument in the first degree if, knowing it to be forged and with intent to utter same, the person possesses a forged instrument issued by a government (ORS 165.022).
      Offense: Class C Felony Fine: Up to $125,000 (jailable)

      Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor:

      No one shall sell, give, or otherwise make available any alcoholic liquor to a person under the age of 21 years (ECC 4.110 or ORS 471.410).
      Offense: Class A Misd. Fine: Up to $6,250 (jailable)

      Allowing Alcohol Consumption by Minors:

      No person who exercises control of private real property shall knowingly allow a minor to drink alcohol on the property or remain on the property after consuming (ECC 4.110(3) or ORS 471.410-3).
      Offense: Violation Fine: Up to $1,000
      Open Container/Consumption in Public:
      Consumption of alcoholic liquor or possession of an open alcoholic beverage container is prohibited in all public places and all private property extended to the public
      for use (ECC 4.190).
      Offense: Crime Fine: Up to $500 (jailable)

      Prohibited Noise:
      Intentionally or recklessly creating or continuing any noise disturbance (meaning any sound which injures or endangers the safety or health of a human, or which annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities). Operating or permitting the use or operation of any device designed for sound production between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. that is plainly audible within another dwelling; the same applies on public property or right-of-ways if it is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet or more (ECC 4.080 and 4.083).
      Offense: Crime Fine: Up to $500 (jailable); up to $1,500 (jailable) for failure to cease within 30 minutes after notice or citation or for a similar noise disturbance within 6 months of receiving a citation.

      Interfering with a Police Officer:

      Intentionally acts in a manner that prevents or attempts to prevent a police officer from performing the lawful duties of the police officer with regards to another person; or refuses to obey a lawful order by the police officer (ORS 162.247 and ECC 4.907).
      Offense: Class A Misd. Fine: Up to $6,250 (jailable)

      Disorderly Conduct:
      With intent to cause public inconvenience or annoyance or recklessly creating a risk thereof: a) Engages in fighting or violent behavior; b) Makes unreasonable noise; c) Disturbs any lawful assembly; d) Obstructs any vehicular or pedestrian traffic; e) Refuses to disperse when ordered to do so; f) Initiates or circulates a report known to be false regarding fire, crime or other emergency; g) Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition. Note: "Public" means three or more people disturbed or inconvenienced (ECC 4.725).
      Offense: Crime Fine: Up to $1,000 (jailable)
      A person commits the crime of riot if while participating with five or more persons the person engages in tumultuous and violent conduct and thereby intentionally and recklessly creates a grave risk of causing public alarm (ORS 166.015).
      Offense: Class C Felony Fine: Up to $125,000 (jailable)

      Unruly Gathering (Social Host)
      Holds individuals criminally responsible for hosting, organizing and allowing an unruly event or social gathering. Property owners where the event is hosted will also be penalized if there are multiple violations of this ordinance at the same property. The ordinance applies throughout the city of Eugene.
      The Eugene Municipal Court has assigned a base fine of $375.00 for criminal violations of this ordinance. Both hosts and property owners could be civilly liable for police, fire and public works response to repeated illegal gatherings that fall under this ordinance. Eugene Municipal Code 4.670 / 4.672(1)
      Offense: Violation Fine: Base fine: $375