The Gainesville Police Department would like to ensure that students and homeowners alike share in the wonderful quality of life we have in our community. We hope this information will provide you with an understanding of the services, ordinances and laws in Gainesville. The City of Gainesville, has in the past, handled complaints of loud and disturbing parties with tolerance. Due to increased violations of laws and citizen complaints, the Gainesville Police Department will take a more aggressive role in enforcing the nuisance violations that affect our quality of life. Violations of the City ordinances and State Statutes dealing with these may result in citations, fines, and/or arrest.
Parties and Noise:
The City does not prohibit parties, but it does have a responsibility to protect the rights of those who are adversely affected by those parties. City code prohibits drunken, noisy or disorderly conduct within the city limits that disturbs public tranquility. This includes the use of amplifying devices such as home stereos, car stereos, televisions and in some cases, human voice. Any of these exceeding decibel limits by a noise meter, plainly audible to the officer, generally disturbing the peace, or to the point of disturbing any person who owns or occupies property in the neighborhood is in violation of the law.
Tips for a Responsible Party:
•Allow only those guests that are of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages. No one under the age of 21 should be in possession of an alcoholic beverage. The host and underage guest can and will be charged with this violation.
•Keep guests to a manageable number.
•Show your neighbors consideration by announcing your party plans before the event and by closing the party at a reasonable time.
•Cooperate with the police officers that are called to your event.
•The host/hostess should be prepared to present proper identification when asked to do so by the officer.
•You and your guests should adhere to the officers instructions to avoid the closure of your party.
•Make sure you and your guests are not parking in a "no parking zone", blocking driveways or private properties. Towing laws will be strictly enforced.
•City Codes regulate the exterior care of dwellings. Excessive growth of grass, shrubs or weeds and/or trash in the yard can lead to fines being imposed. During a party, make sure all cans, bottles, etc. are properly and promptly discarded.
•Speed limits within city residential streets are posted at 25 or 30 mph. Remind your guests of the excessive speeding fines that will be enforced.
Other Laws to Consider:
•Open Container, City Ordinance Section 4-4(b)(1) unlawful to possess any alcoholic beverage in any open container on a public street, sidewalk or public parking lot.
•Disturbing the Peace is a violation of Florida law, Ch. 877.03 and is a misdemeanor crime, punishable by a fine and jail time.
•Possession of an altered, false, fictitious, or forged Drivers License is a violation of Florida State Statutes and could lead to your arrest.
•Florida laws Ch. 856.015 restrict the use and distribution of alcoholic beverages at a house party.
•Disorderly intoxication, Ch. 856.011 is also prohibited by law.
•DUI’s carry heavy penalties, fines, and jail time.
•Remember, a criminal record can damage your educational record and future career goals.
What Actions the Party Patrol Will Take:
When a loud party complaint is received by the Gainesville Police Department, it is our responsibility to contact the party host/hostess and inform them of the nature of the complaint. Our primary objective is to address the complaints and eliminate the disturbance, if it is determined one exists. If compliance is met and no other laws are being violated, there will be no further contact by the police.
Repeat complaints or violations could result in: 1) The party will be closed down. 2) The host/hostess may be charged with a crime and the party will be closed down. The officers will base their decision on several different concerns, including: time of day, number of complaints received, level of cooperation from the host/hostess, crowd capacity and manageability, location of the event (commercial vs. residential) and any unlawful acts that are occurring at the event.
Social status, race or gender plays no part in the decision making process. Your cooperation and the cooperation of your guests play an important role in the actions that the police must take while at your party.
Our message is simple… A little responsibility goes a long way to encourage good feelings between neighbors and ensure a safe place to live for all our residents – students, renters and homeowners alike.
For any questions, please contact our Crime Prevention Officers or Public Information Officer.
Crime Prevention Officers
Phone: (352) 393-7753
Public Information Officer
Phone: (352) 393-7525