Chapter 9.16

9.16.000    Chapter Contents


9.16.010    Definitions.

9.16.020    Disorderly conduct.

9.16.030    Failure to disperse.

9.16.040    Disruption of school activities.

9.16.050    Offenses in public.

9.16.055    Opening or consuming liquor in public place.

9.16.060    Public parades and demonstrations.

9.16.090    Public events--Criminal activity.

9.16.180    Pedestrian interference. Revised 3/24

9.16.190    State statutes adopted by reference.

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 6953 §1, 2015).

9.16.010 Definitions

For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and terms are defined as follows:

A.    "Public safety order" is an order issued by a peace officer designed and reasonably necessary to prevent or control a serious disorder, and promote the safety of persons or property.

B.    "School" has its ordinary meaning and also includes colleges, community colleges and institutions of higher education.

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 5375 §2, 1993; Ord. 3957 §4(A), 1976).

9.16.020 Disorderly conduct

A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly:

A.    Is involved in conduct and/or uses language that is abusive, threatening, or intimidating and which causes alarm for safety of others or creates risk of assault, riot or other public disorders;

B.    Intentionally disrupts a lawful assembly or meeting of persons, without lawful authority;

C.    Is involved in conduct which unreasonably disrupts the public peace; and/or

D.    Causes a public noise disturbance or is in possession and control of property on which a public noise disturbance occurs. The following sounds are determined to be public noise disturbances:

1.    The frequent, repetitive or continuous sounding of any horn or siren attached to a motor vehicle, except as a warning of danger or as specifically permitted or required by law;

2.    The creation of frequent, repetitive or continuous sounds in connection with the starting, operation, repair, rebuilding or testing of any motor vehicle, motorcycle, off-highway vehicle or internal combustion engine within a residential district, so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace comfort and repose of owners or possessors of real property.

3.    Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on or near the public streets, particularly between the hours of eleven p.m. and seven a.m. or at any time and place so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of owners or possessors of real property.

4.    The creation of frequent, repetitive or continuous sounds which emanate from any building, structure, apartment, or condominium, which unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort, and repose of owners or possessors of real property, such as sounds from musical instruments, audio sound systems, band sessions, or social gatherings.

5.    Sound from motor vehicle audio sound systems, such as tape players, radios, and compact disc players, operated at a volume so as to be audible greater than fifty feet from the vehicle itself.

6.    Sound from portable audio equipment, such as tape players, radios, and compact disc players, operated at a volume so as to be audible greater than fifty feet from the source, and if not operated upon the property of the operator.

The foregoing provisions shall not apply to regularly scheduled events at parks, such as public address systems for baseball games or park concerts.

Provided that the foregoing enumeration of acts and noises shall not be construed as excluding other acts and noises which offend the public peace.

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 7080 § 1, 2017; Ord. 5375 §3, 1993; Ord. 5083 §1, 1990; Ord. 4268 §1, 1981; Ord. 3973 §1, 1976; Ord. 3957 §4(B), 1976).

9.16.030 Failure to disperse

A person is guilty of failure to disperse if:

A.    The person congregates with a group of three or more other persons and there are acts of conduct within that group which create a substantial risk of causing injury to any person or substantial harm to property; and

B.    The person refuses or intentionally fails to obey a public safety order to move, disperse or refrain from specified activity in the immediate vicinity.

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 3957 §4(C), 1976).

9.16.040 Disruption of school activities

A person is guilty of disruption of school activities if the person comes upon a school ground, or street, sidewalk, or public way adjacent thereto without lawful reason, and intentionally causes substantial disruption of the activities of the school.

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 3957 §4(D), 1976).

9.16.050 Offenses in public

It is unlawful for a person to:

A.    Refuse to pay proper fare in public conveyances; or

B.    Intentionally fight with another person in a public place and thereby create a substantial risk of:

1.    Injury to a person who is not actively participating in the fight; or

2.    Damage to the property of a person who is not actively participating in the fight; or

C.    Expectorate upon the floor, walls or furniture of any public conveyance or public building; or

D.    Intentionally throw any objects at, against or upon any house, building, structure, vehicle or premises of another person or of the city without the consent of that person or the city; or

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 6953 §2, 2015; Ord. 6723 §1, 2010; Ord. 5222 §1, 1991; Ord. 5164 §6, 1991; Ord. 5056 §1, 1989; Ord. 3988 §1, 1976; Ord. 3957 §4(E), 1976).

9.16.055 Opening or consuming liquor in public place

A.    It is unlawful for a person to open any container which contains intoxicating liquor, or possess any such container which has been opened, or drink any intoxicating liquor in a public conveyance or public place not previously authorized by law, by a permit, or specifically approved in writing pursuant to a previously established policy by the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee.

B.    Notwithstanding chapter 9.64 OMC, every person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class 3 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW.

C.    It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to appear as directed when served with a citation and notice to appear in Municipal Court and shall be subject to the penalty set forth in OMC 9.64.010(A).

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 6953 §3, 2015).

9.16.060 Public parades and demonstrations

A.    Whenever any person or persons plan to have any procession, demonstration, or parade through or upon the streets of the city, which procession, demonstration, or parade will use the roadway section of the public right-of-way or will disrupt sidewalk pedestrian traffic in a significant way, the persons or person who will have charge, supervision, management or direction of such procession, demonstration, or parade are encouraged to, prior to such event, notify the chief of police of the city or the city manager or designee of the intention to conduct such parade, demonstration, or procession. The person or persons in charge, supervision, management or management of such processions, demonstration, or parade are encouraged to, prior to the event, discuss and plan with the chief of police or the city manager or designee the place within the city where such parade, demonstration, or procession will occur or commence its march and the proposed route, the street names, the approximate time expected to be consumed and the approximate number of persons and/or automobiles or other vehicles expected to take part.

B.    On receipt of such notice, the chief of police or the city manager or designee shall meet with the person(s) involved and discuss the proposed time, place, number of persons involved, and the manner in which the procession, demonstration, or parade shall be carried out; provided, however, that if in the judgment of the chief of police, the city manager or designee, a parade, demonstration, or procession of the size, at the time, and along the route indicated will unduly interfere with vehicle or pedestrian traffic, or endanger persons or property within the city or endanger the persons involved in the procession, demonstration, or parade, the chief of police or the city manager or designee may suggest reasonable alternative time(s) and/or routes or locations for such activity.

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 6077 §1, 2001; Ord. 6030 §1, 2000; Ord. 3957 §4(F), 1976).

9.16.090 Public events--Criminal activity

A.    No person shall physically and intentionally or knowingly interfere with any public event activity in a manner which unreasonably disrupts the activity or causes participants therein to be seriously distracted from their performance. For purposes of this section, "activity" includes any parade, procession, race, game, exhibition or similar activity which is conducted on a public street and is an official part of a public event. The term "public event" shall be defined as set forth in Section 10.64.010.

B.    No person shall commit any offense against public peace as defined in Chapter 9.16 or commit a crime against persons as defined in Chapter 9.20 while attending or in conjunction with a public event. Any person who engages in such conduct or commits a felony while attending or in conjunction with a public event may, in the case of private property, be ordered removed from the property on which the event is held by any person(s) having lawful authority over the event or, in the case of a public street, by a law enforcement officer. With respect to a public street, a court of competent jurisdiction may issue an order prohibiting the person from returning to the property on which the event is held for the duration of the event if there is cause to believe that further violations would occur if the person were allowed to return. Any violation of such an order lawfully issued shall constitute criminal trespass pursuant to Section 9.40.080.

C.    Any violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 6077 §2, 2001; Ord. 5292 §1, 1992; Ord. 4503 §2, 1984).

9.16.180 Pedestrian interference Revised 3/24

A.    A person is guilty of pedestrian interference if, in a public place, the person knowingly obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

B.    The following definitions apply in this section:

1.    "Downtown Commercial Zone" means the area depicted in Figure 1, attached hereto and incorporated herein, showing the areas within the City of Olympia in which conduct is prohibited under subsections (B)(2)(b) and (B)(2)(c) of this section.

Figure 1

2.    "Obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic" means to:

a.    In a public place, walk, stand, sit, lie, grasp a person, or place an object in such a manner as to obstruct or impede, or tending to obstruct or impede, the free passage of any person or vehicle, or to require another person or a driver of a vehicle to take action to avoid physical contact; or

b.    at any time vend on any sidewalk, street or alley within the Downtown Commercial Zone as depicted in Figure 1 of this section; or

c.    between the hours of 7 a.m. and 12 a.m., sit or lie on any sidewalk, street or alley within the Downtown Commercial Zone as depicted in Figure 1 of this section. No person shall be cited under this subsection unless the person engages in conduct prohibited by this subsection after having been notified by a law enforcement officer that the conduct violates this subsection.

3.    Affirmative Defenses. It is an affirmative defense under subsections (B)(2)(b) and (B)(2)(c) of this section, that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant was:

(i)    Sitting or lying down on a publicly owned sidewalk or alley due to a medical emergency;

(ii)    Utilizing, as the result of a disability, a wheelchair, walker, or similar device to move about on the publicly owned sidewalk or alley;

(iii)    Operating or patronizing a commercial establishment conducted on any sidewalk, street or alley pursuant to a street use permit;

(iv)    Vending, sitting or lying down on any sidewalk, street or alley within any portion of the Downtown Commercial Zone where such conduct is approved by the City as part of participation in or attendance at a parade, festival, rally, or demonstration; provided, however, that this defense shall not be available to a defendant refusing to obey a reasonable request or order by a police officer to move to prevent obstruction of a public street, alley, sidewalk or building or entrance or doorway into or out of a building open to the public, or to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire or hazard;

(v)    Sitting on a chair or bench supplied by a public agency or by the abutting private property owner or lessee for that purpose, pursuant to a temporary street use or other applicable permit or authorization if required;

(vi)    Sitting or standing on a publicly owned sidewalk within a bus stop zone while waiting for public or private transportation; or

(vii)    Waiting in a line to purchase tickets to or attend a performance or public event, or to gain entry to a business adjacent to the publicly owned sidewalk or alley.

Provided, however, that nothing in any of these affirmative defenses shall be construed to permit any conduct which is prohibited by OMC 9.16.180(b)(2)(a).

4.    "Public place" means an area generally visible to public view and includes alleys, bridges, buildings, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, sidewalks, and streets open to the general public including places that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, in the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them.

5.    "Sit or Lie" means to sit or lie directly upon a sidewalk, street, or alley, or to sit or lie down upon any blanket, sleeping bag, bedroll, tarpaulin, cardboard, or any other similar object placed upon the sidewalk, street or alley.

6.    "Vend" means to offer for sale, whether orally or through the use of written or printed media, any item of value to another person.

(Ord. 7379 §1, 2023; Ord. 7339 §2, 2022; Ord. 7333 §3, 2022; Ord. 7187 §3, 2019; Ord. 7123 §1, 2017; Ord. 6826 §2, 2012; Ord. 6749 §1, 2011; Ord. 6461 §1, 2007; Ord. 6456 §1, 2007; Ord. 6205 §1, 2002; Ord. 5375 §1, 1993).

9.16.190 State statutes adopted by reference

The following sections of the Revised Code of Washington, as they appear now or are hereafter amended, are hereby adopted by reference as though fully set forth in this chapter:

RCW 9A.84.010

Criminal mischief

(Ord. 7333 §3, 2022).