City cracks down on 'unruly gatherings'



San Luis Obispo’s war on the unruly took another step at the April 6 meeting of the city council.

Any large gathering on private property that crosses the line to boisterous rowdiness will be dealt with. Harshly. That’s the message from the council, which voted unanimously to raise the penalty for large parties or “unruly gatherings” as the city calls them.

 What’s it take to make an unruly gathering?

Here’s the recipe: To trigger enforcement under the new statute, more than 20 people have to gather on private property and create a substantial disturbance—pour onto the street, for instance, or interfere with traffic flow. Laws should also be violated: Think vandalism, public drunkenness, fighting, or even littering.

“You have to have several elements come together for this to happen,” said Lt. Tom DePriest, describing some of the partying behavior his officers have had to deal with. “There is always the public urination. Public defecation is a problem we’ve run into the past, though not lately.”

Party organizers can be fined as much as $700 for the first incident, $1,000 for the second. ∆

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