Chapter 11.04
SOCIAL HOST ACCOUNTABILITY

Sections:

11.04.010    Legislative purpose.

11.04.020    Legislative findings.

11.04.030    Definitions.

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

11.04.050    Enforcement by administrative citation.

11.04.060    Cost recovery fee for public safety services.

11.04.070    Remedies cumulative.

11.04.080    Chapter severable.

11.04.010 Legislative purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are:

A. To protect the public health, safety and general welfare;

B. To promote the reduction of underage drinking by imposing an administrative fine on persons responsible for gatherings where alcohol is consumed by, served to or in the possession of underage persons;

C. To facilitate the enforcement of laws prohibiting the service to, consumption of or possession of alcoholic beverages by underage persons;

D. To promote the quiet enjoyment of residential and other property within the City. [Ord. 09-027; Ord. 12-002.]

11.04.020 Legislative findings.

The City Council finds as follows:

A. The City of Dixon, pursuant to the police powers delegated to it by the California Constitution, has the authority to enact laws that promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its residents;

B. 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, violates State law, and is a public nuisance;

C. The City of Dixon has made numerous, continuous, and substantial efforts to enforce underage drinking laws. Despite these efforts, alcohol use by youth remains a serious problem in the City, contributing significantly to the incidence of adolescent crime, addiction, sexual assault, truancy, driving under the influence of alcohol, and motor vehicle accidents causing property damage and injury including death;

D. Underage persons often obtain alcoholic beverages at gatherings held at private residences or at rented residential and commercial premises that are under the control of a person who knows or should know of the service to, possession by, or consumption of alcohol by underage persons. Persons responsible for the occurrence of loud or unruly gatherings on private property over which they have possession or control have failed to ensure that alcoholic beverages are not served to, consumed by or possessed by underage persons at these gatherings, and such possession or consumption by underage persons in turn leads to an increase in the degree of loudness and unruliness of the gatherings;

E. Property owners or others in control of the venues where such gatherings occur have failed to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of loud or unruly gatherings, including those where alcoholic beverages are served to, consumed by or possessed by underage persons, on private property, which seriously disrupts neighboring residents’ quiet enjoyment of their property;

F. Control of loud or unruly gatherings on private property where alcoholic beverages are served to, consumed by or in the possession of underage persons is necessary when such activity is determined to be a public nuisance;

G. Persons abetting or allowing loud or unruly gatherings where alcohol is served to, consumed by or in the possession of underage persons will be more likely to properly supervise or to stop such conduct if they are held responsible for such gatherings held on property in their possession or under their control;

H. Law enforcement, fire and other emergency response services personnel have responded and are required to respond, sometimes on multiple occasions, to loud or unruly gatherings on private property at which alcoholic beverages are served to, consumed by or in the possession of underage persons, and responses to such gatherings result in a disproportionate expenditure of public safety resources of the City, which are underwritten by general municipal taxes paid to the City by its taxpayers and residents, and also result in a delay of responses to regular and emergency calls to the rest of the City;

I. Problems associated with loud or unruly gatherings at which alcoholic beverages are served to, consumed by or in the possession of underage persons are difficult to prevent or deter unless the City has the legal authority to issue an administrative citation resulting in an administrative fine;

J. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 25658 makes it unlawful for a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years to purchase or attempt to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages and makes it unlawful for any person to sell any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years;

K. According to local, State and Federal surveys, alcohol is overwhelmingly and consistently the most widely used drug at all adolescent age levels. A child who begins alcohol use prior to age fifteen (15) is four (4) times as likely to experience alcohol dependence than one who refrains from alcohol use until age twenty (20) or older. [Ord. 09-027; Ord. 12-002.]

11.04.030 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 of one percent (0.5%) or more of alcohol by volume and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when diluted, mixed, or combined with other substances.

“Cost recovery fee for public safety services” 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.

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

“Loud or unruly gathering” means a party or gathering of three (3) 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 includes but is not limited to:

1. Excessive noise in violation of either State law or City ordinance;

2. Obstruction of public streets and/or the presence of unruly crowds that have extended or spilled into public streets;

3. Public drunkenness or unlawful public consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages;

4. Assaults, batteries, fights, domestic violence or other disturbances of the peace;

5. Vandalism;

6. Litter; or

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

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

“Person responsible for the event” means all of the following:

1. The person who owns, rents, leases or otherwise has control of the premises where the gathering occurs;

2. The person in charge of the premises;

3. The person who organized the event; or

4. The person who supervised the event. [Ord. 09-027; Ord. 12-002.]

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

It is unlawful for any person to knowingly suffer, permit, or host a gathering at his or her place of residence or other private or public property, place or premises under his or her control where two (2) or more persons under the age of twenty-one (21) are present, where the gathering is loud or unruly, and where alcoholic beverages are in the possession of, being consumed by, or served to any underage person. Violation of this section may be charged as either a misdemeanor or an infraction at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney. [Ord. 09-027; Ord. 12-002.]

11.04.050 Enforcement by administrative citation.

The public safety officer may issue an administrative citation for a violation of DMC 11.04.040 pursuant to Chapter 9.01 DMC, Article VI, Administrative Citations. The procedures in Chapter 9.01 DMC, Article VI, shall be followed; provided, that:

A. A first violation of DMC 11.04.040 shall result in an administrative citation with a one hundred dollar ($100.00) fine. A second violation within twelve (12) months of the first violation shall result in an administrative citation with a two hundred dollar ($200.00) fine. A third or subsequent violation within twelve (12) months of the first violation shall result in an administrative citation with a five hundred dollar ($500.00) fine for each such violation. These administrative fines exceed those previously established pursuant to DMC 9.01.630, and would be established in lieu of those fines for a violation of this chapter.

B. In the event that the responsible person who is in violation of DMC 11.04.040 is a juvenile, then the juvenile and the parents or guardians of that juvenile will be jointly and severally liable for any fine imposed.

These fine violations are to reference DMC 9.01.630 and are in lieu of the fines in that schedule. [Ord. 09-027; Ord. 12-002.]

11.04.060 Cost recovery fee for public safety services.

A. In addition to any fine imposed on the person(s) responsible for the event for a violation of DMC 11.04.040, the person(s) responsible for the event will be liable for the cost of providing public safety services for any second or follow-up response by public safety personnel; provided, that a warning to the person(s) responsible for the event to abate the nuisance shall have been given during the first response and that a second or follow-up response on the same date or on any later date will result in liability for the cost of providing public safety services.

B. The amount of the cost recovery fee for public safety services under this section shall be calculated pursuant to DMC 11.04.030.

C. In any action brought to recover the cost recovery fee for public safety services the City shall be entitled to recover its attorney’s fees as costs. [Ord. 09-027; Ord. 12-002.]

11.04.070 Remedies cumulative.

The remedies, fines, penalties and fees provided for under this chapter are cumulative, and shall not restrict the City from any other remedy to which it is entitled under law or equity. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to preclude the imposition of any criminal penalty under State law or this code, nor shall anything in this chapter be deemed to conflict with any penalty or provision under State law, or to prohibit any conduct authorized by the State or Federal Constitution. This chapter shall not be interpreted in any manner that conflicts with the laws or Constitutions of the United States or California.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as a waiver by the City of any right to seek reimbursement for actual response costs incurred through other legal remedies or procedures. [Ord. 09-027; Ord. 12-002.]

11.04.080 Chapter severable.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, portion, or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of any competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, portions, or phrases of this chapter. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed the ordinance codified in this chapter and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause, portion, or phrase without regard to whether any other section, subsection, sentence, clause, portion, or phrase of the chapter would be subsequently declared invalid or unconstitutional. [Ord. 09-027; Ord. 12-002.]