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Party Ordinances

There are several ordinance violations that police come across when they are called to parties.  If you are hosting a party, you should be familiar with these ordinances and what to do to prevent violations.

Noise Ordinance - The two most common violations are unreasonable noise (Section 5-9-6(b), public property) or disrupting quiet enjoyment of home (Section 5-9-5(b)4(c), private property).  The City of Boulder's noise ordinance is extensive, but these two sections will apply most to private parties.

Kegs - In Boulder, there are rules about where you can place a keg on private property.  If you will have a keg, the best place to keep it is inside.  A social gathering is deemed a public nuisance when an open keg of beer is located in any yard adjacent to a street, on a front porch in a place visible to the public, or in any side yard of the premises upon which the social gathering takes place such that the open keg of beer is visible to members of the public standing on public streets, sidewalks, or on the grounds of other adjoining or nearby private properties.  The consequence is a nuisance party ticket.

Underage drinking - It is illegal in Colorado for anyone younger than 21 to possess or consume alcohol.  It is also illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under 21.  If you provide alcohol to someone under 21, they can be charged for possession and consumption and you, as the party host, can be charged with procuring alcohol for a minor.  Legal penalties can include fines up to $1,000, court appearances and court costs, and up to 90 days in jail.

Nuisance party - Any of the above offenses, as well as several others, occurring at your party can cause your party to be declared a nuisance party.  It only takes one of any of the following offenses to have your party declared a nuisance party:

  • Third degree assault;
  • Brawling;
  • Threatening bodily injury;
  • Obstructing public streets, places or buildings;
  • Use of fighting words;
  • Damaging property of another;
  • Damaging public property;
  • Trespass;
  • Fires on public property;
  • Littering;
  • Graffiti prohibited;
  • Obstructing a peace officer or firefighter;
  • False reports;
  • Fireworks;
  • Public urination;
  • Possession/consumption of alcohol in public;
  • Unlawful to sell or give to or procure alcohol for minors;
  • Possession of alcohol by minors;
  • Excessive sound levels;
  • Noise ordinance violations;
  • Obstructing traffic prohibited;
  • Some trash and open burning ordinances.


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