Chapter 19C
SOCIAL HOST ACCOUNTABILITY

Sections:

19C.1    Council findings.

19C.2    Definitions.

19C.3    Prohibition of loud or unruly gatherings where alcohol is served to, consumed by or in the possession of underage persons.

19C.4    Administrative penalties.

19C.5    Administrative cost recovery fees for public safety responses.

19C.6    Hearings on the imposition of administrative penalty and/or imposition of administrative cost recovery fees; appeals.

19C.1 Council findings.

The city council of the City of Gilroy hereby finds and declares that the occurrence of loud or unruly gatherings on private property where alcoholic beverages are served to, consumed by or in the possession of underage persons is harmful to the underage persons themselves, and is a threat to the public health, safety, or quiet enjoyment of residential property and the general welfare.

The city council also finds that in order to promote the reduction of underage drinking and to facilitate the enforcement of laws prohibiting the service to, consumption by or possession of alcoholic beverages by underage persons, the imposition of administrative penalties on persons responsible for loud or unruly gatherings where alcohol is consumed by, served to or in the possession of underage persons is a reasonable and necessary means to protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the youth and other residents of the city.

The city council further finds that, the imposition of an administrative cost recovery fee upon social hosts and/or landowners who knowingly allow such loud or unruly gatherings to occur on their premises, at their residence, or at rented facilities where alcoholic beverages are served to, consumed by, or in the possession of underage persons is a reasonable and necessary means to offset the municipal costs associated with providing fire, police and other emergency services to loud or unruly gatherings.

This chapter is intended to protect the public health, safety, quiet enjoyment of residential property, and the general welfare, rather than to punish. Persons who actively or passively aid, abet, or allow loud or unruly gatherings, shall be held liable for the nuisances created by such gatherings, the administrative penalties for such violations and the costs associated with responding to such gatherings. (Ord. No. 2007-14, § I, 6-4-07)

19C.2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

“Alcohol” means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, from whatever source or by whatever process produced.

“Alcoholic beverage” includes alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, beer, and every liquid or solid containing alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine or beer, and which contains one-half (1/2) of (1) one percent or more of alcohol by volume and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when diluted, mixed, or combined with other substances.

“City administrator” shall mean the city administrator or his or her designee.

“Enforcement officer” shall mean the city administrator, or any city employee of the city designated by the city administrator to enforce any provision of the City Code.

“Juvenile” means any person less than eighteen (18) years of age.

“Loud or unruly gathering” means a party or gathering of four (4) or more persons at a residence or on other private property or rented public property upon which loud or unruly conduct occurs. Such loud or unruly conduct constitutes a public nuisance and includes but is not limited to:

(1) Excessive noise;

(2) Excessive traffic;

(3) Obstruction of public streets and/or the presence of unruly crowds that have spilled into public streets;

(4) Public drunkenness or unlawful public consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages;

(5) Assaults, batteries, fights, domestic violence or other disturbances of the peace;

(6) Vandalism;

(7) Litter; or

(8) Any other conduct which constitutes a threat to the public health, safety, or quiet enjoyment of residential property or the general welfare.

“Minor” means any person less than twenty-one (21) years of age.

“Person responsible for the event” means and includes, but is not limited to:

(1) The person who owns, rents, leases or otherwise has control of the premises where the gathering occurs; and/or

(2) The person in charge of the premises; and/or

(3) The person who organizes, supervises, officiates, conducts or controls the gathering or any other person(s) accepting responsibility for such a gathering. A person need not be present at such gathering resulting in the response giving rise to the imposition of civil fines or civil fees for response costs. Prior knowledge of the loud or unruly gathering is not a pre-requisite to a finding that any specific individual is a responsible person as defined by this section.

“Public safety services and/or response costs” means the costs associated with responses by law enforcement, fire and other emergency response providers to loud or unruly gatherings, including but not limited to:

(1) The portion of the cost of salaries and benefits of law enforcement, fire or other emergency response personnel for the amount of time spent responding to, remaining at, or otherwise dealing with the loud or unruly gathering(s), and the administrative costs attributable to such response(s);

(2) The cost of any medical treatment to or for any law enforcement, fire or other emergency response personnel injured responding to, remaining at or leaving the scene of a loud or unruly gathering; and

(3) The cost of the use of any city equipment or property, and the cost of repairing any city equipment or property damaged, in responding to, remaining at or leaving the scene of a loud or unruly gathering.

“Residence or other private property or premises” means a home, yard, apartment, condominium, hotel or motel room, or other dwelling unit, or a hall or meeting room, whether occupied on a temporary or permanent basis, whether occupied as a dwelling, party or other social function, and whether owned, leased, rented, or used without compensation.

“Underage person” means any person less than twenty-one (21) years of age and shall have the same meaning as “minor,” defined in this section. (Ord. No. 2007-14, § I, 6-4-07)

19C.3 Prohibition of loud or unruly gatherings where alcohol is served to, consumed by or in the possession of underage persons.

It shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly conduct or allow a loud or unruly gathering where alcohol is served to, consumed by or in the possession of an underage person or persons on premises owned by the person responsible for the event, on premises rented by or to the person responsible for the event, on premises where the person responsible for the event resides or on premises where the person responsible for the event is in control of such premises during the loud or unruly gathering. (Ord. No. 2007-14, § I, 6-4-07)

19C.4 Administrative penalties.

(a) Any enforcement officer of the city, at his or her discretion, may issue an administrative citation for a violation of this chapter. There is no requirement of a first warning in order for the enforcement officer to issue this citation.

(1) Administrative Penalties. A first violation of this section shall result in a citation with a two hundred fifty-dollar ($250.00) penalty. A second violation within a twelve-month period shall result in a citation with a thousand-dollar ($1,000.00) penalty. A third or subsequent violation within a twelve-month period shall result in a citation with a two thousand-dollar ($2,000.00) penalty.

(2) The police shall give notice of a violation of this section by issuing an administrative citation to any and all persons identified by the enforcement officer within thirty (30) days of the violation. The administrative citation shall also give notice of the right to request an administrative hearing to challenge the validity of the administrative citation and the time for requesting that hearing pursuant to section 19C.6 below.

(3) The administrative penalty prescribed in subsection (1) is in addition to any administrative cost recovery fee for public safety responses that may be assessed pursuant to section 19C.5 below.

(4) In the event that the person who is in violation of this section is a juvenile, then the juvenile and the parents or guardians of that juvenile will be jointly and severally liable for the administrative penalty. (Ord. No. 2007-14, § I, 6-4-07)

19C.5 Administrative cost recovery fees for public safety responses.

(a) In addition to any administrative penalty imposed for violation of this chapter, when any loud or unruly gathering where alcohol is served to, consumed by or in the possession of underage person(s) occurs on private property and an enforcement officer at the scene determines that there is a threat to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare, the public safety officer shall give to the person(s) responsible for the event warning that a second or follow up violation of this section on the same date or on any later date will result in his/her/their liability for the cost of providing public safety services (i.e., fire, ambulance, police, and other emergency providers) (hereinafter “administrative cost recovery fees.”)

(b) The requirement of a first warning does not limit the ability of the enforcement officer to issue an administrative citation, or for the imposition of administrative cost recovery fees on the same day that the warning is given if the warning does not end the loud or unruly gathering. The administrative cost recovery fees shall be separate and distinct from an administrative citation and penalty a violation described in section 19C.4 above.

(1) The amount of administrative cost recovery fees includes but is not limited to those costs set forth in subsection 19C.2(i) of this chapter and shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) per incident pursuant to section 16.35 of the Gilroy City Code.

(2) In the event that the person who is in violation of this section is a juvenile, then the juvenile and the parents or guardians of that juvenile will be jointly and severally liable for the imposition of administrative cost recovery fees.

(3) Administrative cost recovery fees will not be imposed in those situations where those present at the gathering call for emergency services for an actual emergency at the premises. (Ord. No. 2007-14, § I, 6-4-07)

19C.6 Hearings on the imposition of administrative penalty and/or imposition of administrative cost recovery fees; appeals.

(a) Any person subject to a administrative penalty pursuant to section 19C.4, or subject to an administrative cost recovery fees pursuant to section 19C.5, shall have the right to request an administrative hearing within thirty (30) days of the issuance of an administrative citation for a violation of this chapter and/or the imposition of administrative cost recovery fees as specified in this chapter, pursuant Gilroy City Code Chapter 6A, Article II, section 6A.11 through 6A.23.

(b) To request such a hearing, the person requesting the hearing shall notify the city clerk in writing within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the administrative citation and/or imposition of administrative cost recovery fees, pursuant to section 6A.16 of the City Code.

(c) The hearing procedure shall be as set forth in section 6A.17 of the City Code.

(d) Any person aggrieved by an administrative decision of the hearing officer may obtain review of the administrative decision by filing a petition for review with the Superior Court in Santa Clara County in accordance with the time lines and provisions set forth in California Government Code Section 53069.4.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 6A.20, the amount of an administrative penalty and/or administrative cost recovery fees, shall be deemed a debt owed to the city by the person found in violation of section 19C.4 and/or section 19C.5 and, if that person is a juvenile, then also his/her parents or guardians. Any person owing such administrative penalties and/or administrative cost recovery fees shall be liable in an action brought in the name of the city for recovery of such administrative penalty and/or administrative fees. These recovery costs may include reasonable attorney fees incurred in the action. (Ord. No. 2007-14, § I, 6-4-07)