Champaign cracks down on house parties

By Morgan Martin

Champaign Police are cracking down on parties. A Nuisance Party Ordinance is now in effect in Champaign.

Scott Friedlein is the Sergeant of the Alcohol Enforcement Unit for the Champaign Police Department and says the goal of the ordinance is to hold party hosts responsible for their guests.

“One to give clear understanding to both law enforcement personnel and to the public, especially the college community about the role and responsibilities they have on hosting social alcohol events”

According to the ordinance, a party is a nuisance if it has two or more minor violations or one major violation. Minor violations are things like underage drinking, loud music and littering. Major violations are things like false alarms, assault and damage to public property.

A minimum $290 ticket is issued if these violations are met.

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Friedlein says violators will be warned before they are ticketed.

“The initial response results usually will result in a warning if the event they’re hosting constitutes as a nuisance party and if they were to hold a similar event within the next year and those same conditions were met, then they could then be ticketed at that time.”

According to the police department’s eleven month review, they responded to nearly 2,500 complaints last year.

Senior and accounting major Jess Strilich has had his parties broken up by police, but he says he doesn’t think the ordinance will change him.

“I don’t think it will stop us from throwing parties, there’s always been a fear of the police.”

Champaign City Manager Steve Carter says residents will be informed as incidents occur. A copy of this ordinance and its regulations can be found on the Champaign City Council web site.