The Daily Californian

Law Enforcement Officials Point to Ordinances Surrounding Underage Drinking, Parties
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Welcome to Cal and to the city of Berkeley. UC Berkeley is located in a densely populated community, which requires residents to be sensitive to the needs of others living around them.

We believe that UC Berkeley students are some of the most socially aware individuals in the nation and want to be sure that you are aware of local ordinances that may impact activities in your living area.

Like you, we were once UC students and we understand that students have a lifestyle that includes late-night schedules, hard work and long hours of study, group living arrangements, and group social activities.

It is important for students to respect the rights of others living near the campus. The residents of Berkeley and the campus administration expect UC Berkeley students to be good neighbors, to uphold community standards and to comply with all university, city, state and federal regulations and laws.

A student who violates city, state or federal laws can be subject to civil or criminal penalties and may threaten his or her standing as a UC Berkeley student. Both the city and campus police departments can be utilized to educate students about the laws and safety precautions that govern the city of Berkeley. However, there are a few specific ordinances and laws that all students should be aware of.

The city and university work together to reduce underage and binge drinking. The city strictly enforces all state laws relating to underage drinking, use of false identification, public possession of open containers of alcohol and public drunkenness. A citation under these statutes can result in the loss of your driver's license, fines and other penalties.

When a UC student is cited for violating a law or ordinance within a one-mile area around the campus, the Berkeley Police Department routinely informs the UC Police Department and the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. Depending on the offense and the student's prior conduct, this can result in an official warning or more serious disciplinary action by the university, in addition to any penalties the city may impose.

Berkeley has an ordinance concerning large parties (over 10 persons) that create a public disturbance. After an initial warning, if within 60 days the city police respond to a second complaint at a particular address regarding a large party that creates a public disturbance, the resident and/or the property owner may be subject to a $500 fine. If a third response is required within 60 days, the penalty increases to $1,000.

When you host a party, you are responsible for the welfare of your guests and their behavior during and, in some cases, after the party. There are simple steps you can take to make sure you have a safe and successful event. Check out the Web site at for tips before you plan to host a party.

We ask that you strive to be a good neighbor as you live here in Berkeley and hope you will enjoy all of the benefits of this great community. Go Bears!

Doug Hambleton is the chief of the Berkeley Police Department. Victoria Harrison is the chief of the UC Police Department. Reply to