Thinking of entertaining at home this St. Patrick’s Day rather than taking the craic to one of the local bars pouring Guinness around March 17? That’s fine. But the Berkeley Police Department would like to draw your attention to three municipal codes designed to make sure merriment doesn’t become a nuisance to the neighbors.
The following municipal codes are from the most recent issue of Berkeley PD's Neighborhood Update (see the pdf attached to this article).
BMC 13.46.060 (Authority to shut down a Gathering) Under this law, any Police Officer or Fire Official has the authority to stop and disburse the attendees of any event that results in any disturbance, disorderly conduct, that exceeds the posted occupancy limit of the location.
BMC 13.48.020 (AKA: 2nd Response Ordinance) After witnessing a gathering involving 10 or more persons who are engaged in behavior that “constitutes a substantial disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of private/public property in a significant segment of the neighborhood,” officers can enforce this ordinance.
The municipal code is an administrative action that begins when the officer posts an “Exhibit A” form/notice on the property—stating that the property is subject to fine should the police department receive an additional noise complaint from the premises over the next 120 days.
BMC 13.49.030 (AKA: The Social Host Ordinance) Under this law, it is unlawful for you to permit, allow, or host a gathering at a location under your control (public or private) where minors (under age 21) are consuming alcoholic beverages.
Note: This section does not apply in the circumstance where ALL minors are under parental supervision. In addition, this section does not apply to hosts who selfreport—call the police for assistance to bring a gathering into compliance with the law.