Bozeman’s “Safe Neighborhoods” Ordinance

Special Security Service Charges at loud or unruly gatherings

– Ordinance Summary –

This ordinance acknowledges the threat posed by inadequately supervised loud or unruly parties to the public health, safety, peace and welfare of Bozeman. Problems include excessive noise, traffic, obstruction of public streets by crowds, public drunkenness, the underage consumption of alcohol, fights, disturbances of the peace, and litter.

The City of Bozeman is compelled to make multiple responses to such unruly gatherings in order to restore and maintain the peace and protect public safety. Such gatherings are a burden on scarce city resources and can result in police responses to other emergency calls being delayed, and police protection to the rest of the city being reduced.

– Service of alcohol to minors –

The service of alcohol to minors at loud and unruly gatherings and the consumption of alcohol by minors at loud or unruly gatherings has in the past, and continues to pose, a threat to the health and safety of all persons who reside in the City. This also causes significant disruption of City residents’ quiet enjoyment of their households, especially
in the City’s residential neighborhoods.

Responding to underage drinking at parties results in the expenditure of a disproportionate amount of the City’s police, fire and public safety resources, which
are underwritten primarily by general municipal taxes paid to the City by its taxpayers and residents.

It is therefore the policy of the City Commission that in responding to loud or unruly
gatherings, the City Police Department will strictly enforce any and all applicable state laws pertaining to the service of alcohol to minors, and the consumption of alcohol by minors. The Police Department shall establish a “no tolerance” protocol by which the police contacts the minor’s parents or legal guardians whenever the minor is found to be in possession of alcohol or narcotics or found to be intoxicated at a loud or unruly gathering.

– Summary of the ordinance –

When a police officer responds to the first loud or unruly gathering in the City with a given address, the officer shall inform the responsible person (renter or owner) at the scene that:

a) The officer has determined that a loud or unruly gathering exists.
b) Responsible persons will be charged for the costs of any special security services
required for subsequent police calls to the scene within the next twelve months.
c) Only one warning will be given before the City assesses special security service costs.

When the Police Department, Fire Department or other City emergency responder responds to a loud or unruly gathering at premises with a given address in the City within twelve months of a warning, all responsible persons shall be required to pay for the City’s costs of providing security service.

Charges for special security service shall include a reasonable charge for the emergency responder’s time and actual costs of any equipment used or damaged in connection with the response, together with an additional thirty-three percent for administrative overhead. These charges shall be computed and a bill submitted to the responsible person(s).

– Fines –

In addition to the special security charges

1. A first violation of this ordinance shall be punishable by a $100 fine.
2. A second violation at a given address in the City within a twelve month period shall be punishable by a fine of $250.
3. A third or subsequent violation of this Section at a given address in the City within a given twelve month period shall be punishable by a fine of $500.