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The original item was published from 10/18/2016 11:55:00 AM to 10/18/2016 11:58:52 AM.

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Posted on: October 18, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Safety is Sweet

Historically, the Halloween holiday has produced lively parties and a high volume of foot traffic in the near-campus and downtown neighborhoods. Eugene Police and University of Oregon Police will have a large presence in the area to ensure safety and enforce laws on the weekend leading up to Halloween. We would like to remind people that there are a few ways to minimize problems while continuing to have fun and celebrate in the festivities.

Here are some Party Management Tips:

  • 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. If you can hear it from the street, it is probably loud enough to hear inside your neighbor's home.
  • 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 safety--such as suspected alcohol poisoning--call 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. The Designated Driver Shuttle (DDS) will pick you up from a party and take you home, no questions asked. DDS runs from 10:00 p.m.--2:30 a.m. Call 541-346-RIDE.
  • 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.

The City's Unruly Gathering ordinance went into effect on March 2, 2013. This ordinance holds individuals and property owners accountable for unruly events or social gatherings. The ordinance does not target a particular group of people and applies equally to all, regardless of where one lives in the City. The law applies when alcohol is served or consumed, and where any two or more of the following behaviors occur on the property where the gathering took place or on adjacent property:

Violations that involve laws relating to sale, service, possession or consumption of alcohol; Assault, Menacing, Harassment, Intimidation, Disorderly Conduct, Noise Disturbance, Criminal Mischief, Public Urination or Defecation, Littering

The ordinance will apply only when multiple violations of existing laws are taking place. It applies equally to all, regardless of where one lives in the City. A tenant or host would have to be breaking the law in more ways than one to be liable for penalties. The law does not prevent hosting parties or social gatherings. It just expects that the hosting will be done responsibly with respect to other neighbors.

To report non-emergency concerns to the Eugene Police Department, call 541-682-5111. For emergencies, always call 9-1-1.

To report safety or security concerns on the UO campus, call UOPD at 541-346-2919.

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