Common Party Violations
Avoid the following common party violations at your next social gathering. Excessive noise and trash/littering are the two most common issues that initiate complaints.
Disturbing the Peace - City of Evanston (Ordinance 9-5-6)
No person shall disturb or destroy the peace of the neighborhood through boisterous behavior or behavior that is dangerous to health in which the building or premises is situated.
Noise Prohibited (Loud Parties) - City of Evanston (Ordinance 9-5-20)
It is unlawful for any person within the city to make, continue, or cause to be continued, any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise which disturbs the peace of others within the city limits. Included in the ordinance are musical instruments, radios and any other device for producing or reproducing sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, or with louder volume than necessary for the convenient hearing of persons who are in the room or outdoor area. Yelling and shouting, particularly between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am are also prohibited if they disturb the peace.
Consumption of Alcohol (Open Container) - City of Evanston (Ordinance 9-5-10)
No person within the City of Evanston shall consume or have on his/her person or in or about personal property open containers of alcoholic beverages in public buildings, parks, beaches, highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, parkways, and parking lots. Any person found violating any of the provisions of this Section shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00), nor more than one thousand dollars ($1000.00) for each offense
Identification Cards - City of Evanston (Ordinance 3-4-14-C)
No person shall transfer, alter or deface such an identification card; use the identification card of another; carry or use a false or forged identification card or obtain an identification card by means of false information…Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).
Littering - City of Evanston (Ordinance 8-3-7)
No person shall leave any loose paper, rags, rubbish, waste material, refuse, garbage, trash, or other debris upon a public or private place.
Trespass - City of Evanston (Ordinance 9-5-13)
Whoever enters upon the land or building or any part thereof of another after receiving, immediately prior to such entry, notice from the owner or occupant that such entrance is forbidden, or remains upon the land or building or any part thereof of another after receiving notice from the owner or occupant to depart shall be fined as provided in Section 1-4-1 of this Code. A person has received notice from the owner or occupant within the meaning of this Section if he has been notified personally, either orally or in writing, or if a printed or written notice forbidding such entry has been conspicuously posted or exhibited at the main entrance of such land or building, or the forbidden part thereof.
Public Nudity; Urinating or Defecating in Public - City of Evanston (Ordinance 9-5-11)
It shall be unlawful for any person to urinate or defecate in or on a public street, alley, sidewalk, yard, park, building, structure, plaza, public utility right-of-way, or other public place; or in public view
Resisting or Interfering with Police - City of Evanston (Ordinance 9-5-18-4)
Whoever in the city shall resist any member of the police force in the discharge of his duties, shall in any way interfere with or prevent or hinder him in the discharge of his duty as such member, or shall offer or endeavor to do so, and whoever shall in any manner assist any person in the custody of any member of the police force to escape or attempt to escape from such custody, or attempt to rescue any person in such custody, shall be punished as provided in section 1-4-1 of this code.
Nuisance Premise Ordinance - City of Evanston (Ordinance 9-5-4)
A nuisance premise is defined as any premise used for a felony activity, OR two or more offenses in a six month period that are misdemeanors under Federal or State Law, or a violation of the City Code provisions. Violations of City Code include alcohol violations (consumption and/or purchase by minors or other illegal sales), consumption/possession of alcohol on public property, possession of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, resisting or interfering with police or noise violations.
Illinois State - “Social Host Law”
Effective January 1, 2013, Illinois law now states that individuals can be arrested and face criminal charges for simply allowing or permitting individuals under the age of 21 to drink alcohol at their residence or on their property - even if the individual did not directly supply or provide the underage person with alcohol. Students who host social events (whether on or off campus) are expected to monitor their parties and make sure that underage people are not drinking in their residence, room, or property.
Individuals who violate this law:
- Can be arrested and charged with a Class A Misdemeanor
- Face fines of at least $500
- Can be charged with a Class 4 Felony if the violation directly or indirectly results in great bodily harm or death to any person. Under Illinois law, penalties for a Class 4 Felony may include:
- incarceration for 1-3 years
- fines of up to $25,000
“Safe Harbor” Provision
- The new law contains a “safe harbor” (or amnesty) provision that protects individuals who host social events from criminal liability if the party host requests assistance from the police to:
- Remove any person who refuses to abide by the party host’s demand to stop drinking, or
- Terminate the gathering because the party host has been unable to prevent persons under the age of 21 years from consuming alcohol, despite having taken all reasonable steps to do so; and
- Help before any other person makes a formal complaint to law enforcement
Thus, students are strongly encouraged to contact the police immediately if they are unable to control guests at their party or if guests refuse to comply with the host’s attempts to prevent underage drinking.
Full text of the law
For legal services and resources, please check out this Cook County, IL website.