Council Still Not Ready to Go Forward with Minor Alcohol Preclusion Ordinance

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Police Chief Landy Black was back before the Davis City Council to push for passage of the Minor Alcohol Preclusion Act, that would make it an infraction, payable with what would ultimately be a 240 dollar fine for an individual under 21, to be caught having consumed enough alcohol to register a .01% blood alcohol content, in the City of Davis.

However, Mayor Joe Krovoza’s motion to adopt the staff report died for a lack of a second and the remaining three members, in the absence of Councilmember Stephen Souza, were not ready to pass the ordinance, citing the lack of support and buy-in from students who had assembled, as well as concerns about the civil liberty implications of the ordinance.

Following the lead of Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Swanson, the four councilmembers unanimously backed a plan that would send that matter back to the Student Liaison Commission for ninety days.

This is not about more outreach, the Mayor Pro Tem clarified.

“This isn’t just tasking the police department to kind of go out… [and do] a second round,” Mayor Pro Tem Swanson said.  “I would like to task the commission and task the students and task the folks with the schools to actively sit down and realize this is crafting language for something to come back.

The item as originally presented would be a “a potential solution to curbing unlawful nuisance drinking and rowdy partying behavior, as well as punishing those who choose to ignore the law,” by making “it unlawful for any person under 21 years of age to have a blood alcohol content equal to or greater than .01%, by weight, on any street or highway, or in any public place, or in any place open to the public.”

The staff report argued that, while the state regulates most issues involving alcohol, it does not completely regulate the private consumption of it.

The council at that time passed the first reading of the ordinance, under the understanding that the UC Davis Student Liaison commission would weigh in and the matter would come back before the council.

In late January, the Student Liaison Commission, comprised mainly of students with a few voting members from the public at-large, voted to oppose the ordinance.

According to the staff report, the police have done the kind of follow-up they needed to do prior to the introduction of the original ordinance.

However, on Tuesday night, a number of students continued to oppose the ordinance, despite acknowledgments about the outreach work the chief and his department did.

ASUCD President-elect Rebecca Sterling thanked Chief Landy Black and Captain Darren Pytel telling them, “Recently there really has been outreach to students to try to gain more of a student input into this ordinance than was originally sought out.”

However, she remains opposed to the ordinance.

“I think that this is not tackling the real issues as has been addressed,” she said.  “The amount of money that this is going to cost the student body – if a student gets this kind of ticket – as a student our fees are skyrocketing and students are in debt, students are facing so many loans, this is not conducive.”

“This is also creating divisive lines that we are struggling with between our students and our police,” she added.

Another ASUCD Senator, Bradley Bottoms added, “Especially over the last several years that students views on police relations has changed.”

“With the pepper spray incident especially, I feel like there has been a major shift and students are no longer seeing police as allies and starting to see them more as the other, which I think is a really dangerous situation considering how I was growing up, I always thought that police were there to help us,” he said.  “I think if this goes forward, more students are going to feel targeted.”

Erica Padgett, an ASUCD Senator said, “I understand the intentions of what this is trying to do and I fully believe that we need to work together and make it better.  However, the impact of this will actually in my opinion be detrimental to the relationships between the students and the police.”

“Even though we don’t have 100 students in here,” she added, “We have several elected officials within our student government and they represent literally THOUSANDS of students at our university.  That is huge…  I get frustrated that my voice is not being heard because it’s not just me, it’s a lot of the students at our university.”

Carly Sandstrom, the External Affairs Commission chair referenced the fine and said, “$230 for a student is a ton of money.”  She noted that students are required to have around a 4.0 GPA to enter UC Davis – “These are not students that are causing a huge nuisance in the Davis Community.  Where there is such a nuisance, I think that there are already policies in place to tame those who are causing that nuisance.”

A former ASCUD Senator added, “To me this is not about allowing a number of underaged students getting away with drinking…  To me it’s about feeling at home in Davis.”

Gina Gindi, the ASUCD City and County Affairs Director said that they had polled a large number of students on this issue.  She reported that 96% of the participants in their survey were in opposition to the ordinance.

“It also showed that half of the usual people that walk home from parties in small gatherings would now choose to find a ride home, drive themselves or sleep at the party location,” she said.

“I believe that there is some very serious negative consequences that will come from the passing of this ordinance,” she added.

Many of the students said that, despite the changes to the ordinance that would protect those students who call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation to be relatively immune from the ordinance, most felt that it would still discourage 9-1-1 calls from students in an unsafe situation when they had been drinking.

While students focused on the issue of college students, Trece Peterson from Davis Police Department, Sheila Smith the Vice Principal from Davis High, Michelle Famula from the university, and community member Elaine Roberts Musser all expressed serious concerns about drinking among those 13 to 17 years of age, both from the standpoint of nuisance as well as health issues.

Mayor Joe Krovoza said, “Probably the most concerning thing about the ordinance to me is the prospect for abuse – in that I mean that people would be singled out and stopped when there isn’t cause to do so.”

He asked the chief what would be the best protection that we have against this possibility.

The mayor mentioned the reasonable suspicion criteria.  “I would assume that if someone is walking down the street, it’s four a.m., they’re minding their own business on the sidewalk… that is not reasonable suspicion to do anything under this ordinance.”

He wanted to know if this council “could add more language to protect against the ordinance being abused outside of its intent.”

Chief Landy Black took some offense to the notion that they would use this ordinance to abuse the rights of students.

“The standards by which we would operate under under this ordinance, are the same standards that we currently use,” he said.  “We have a clean department that is well-trained, well-educated and familiar with how to do things in a way that don’t violate people’s rights.  We stand on the principle of the Constitution.”

“The issues that everyone has raised here is almost offensive to a good police officer,” he said.  “We pride ourselves on being good police officers.  We don’t violate people’s rights.”

“The circumstances of an individual walking down the street and just being picked out because of their youth to blow in a PAS device is absurd,” he said.  “We have far more better things to do than to look for young people walking down the street.”

City Attorney Harriet Steiner noted that there is a large body of law as to what constitutes reasonable suspicion.  To use the standard of reasonable suspicion, she argued is to use a standard that both officers and the courts are familiar with.

“To set up a separate standard for this ordinance as opposed to all other ordinances would make it I would think more likely that we would have an issue or more likely that we would use a standard that we would have a harder [time] using across the board and making it fair to everyone,” she said.

She added that she would recommend using the same standards we use for everything.

While the council has not yet implemented this ordinance, it is clearly heading in that direction.  What has emerged however is that the students, representing 18-20 year olds, are concerned about police encounters while the issue for young minors, those ages 13-17 and perhaps younger, is very different and represents a very real health threat.

In the coming months, perhaps it will be possible to separate these issues and deal with very different sorts of concerns.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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39 thoughts on “Council Still Not Ready to Go Forward with Minor Alcohol Preclusion Ordinance”

  1. rdcanning

    David, having spoken in front of the council about the proposed ordinance, I would have been happier if the DPD had originally come before council with a staff report that showed how this proposal would fit within a larger framework of prevention of underage drinking. As I mentioned in my comments to the CC, this ends up looking like a “college student bad behavior” ordinance rather than a piece of a larger prevention program to reduce underage drinking in Davis. Additionally, the police barely mentioned the 14-17 year old age group, which Treace Peterson and Vice-Principal Smith spoke eloquently about. The police offered no evidence other than “trust me” that this will yield results and I am not sure this is the best tool for the younger group. I am not necessarily opposed to the measure but I think Landy and city staff should think about this as a public health program rather than simply criminalizing behaviors. They made a clear case that there is a zone of conduct that they have trouble dealing with, but does this tool really make a dent in our underage drinking problems.

  2. Gunrock

    What a genuinely stupid idea. This is a college town. 18-20 year olds drink. Get over it. This isn’t about minors drinking as a fine is not a reasonable solution- parental involvement would deal with a minor far better than a fine. This is targeting college students.

    This sounds like there are some people on city staff with far too much time on their hands- perhaps a round of budget cuts in city staff is well warranted.

  3. rdcanning

    Dear Gunrock – With all due respect, that is an uninformed comment. The rate of binge drinking among 15-24 year olds is approaching 30% in the U.S. This is a serious public health problem and Davis has a serious problem not just with college students (we’ve had at least one death from alcohol intoxication in the last ten years) but also with junior and senior high school students. Just google “underage drinking” and click on the CDC websites that pop up to see the extent of the problem and the consequences of it. This is a public health problem that needs more than mom or dad sitting down with sons and daughters or removing all the alcohol in the house. It just ain’t so simple.

  4. Mr.Toad

    High school student alcohol abuse needs to be addressed in a different manner than college student abuse. Lumping them together probably will not address either of them appropriately.

    As constructed the college kids are never going to say yes to this and why would they? Sending this back to them I’m not sure what could be accomplished. It really should be the job of the council to come up with policy alternatives. The best one on here seems to be creating language to be inserted into lease agreements that deters unruly behavior.

    I appreciate the efforts of the chief and those concerned about the health and safety of young people in town but don’t see his plan as a workable solution because in his attempt to deter kids from disturbing their neighbors and changing their behavior it makes the college kids into the enemy and will divide the community even more. Plus, bothering your neighbor is not a health and safety issue.

    Nothing will happen until after the next city council election. Students would be wise to register to vote and make this an election issue. They need to get the candidates on the record on what they see as possible ways to deal with the problem of alcohol abuse and how they feel about the approach of the police chief.

  5. Gunrock

    Dear rdcanning- I must disagree there is a need to stop lumping 15-24 together… there are three groups here.

    15-17 are underage and not adults- their parents need to deal with them and adding a fine is not a rational response.

    21-24 is not an issue, they are legal adults and don’t need nannystate telling them what to do.

    18-20 are legal adults and the limitations on their ability to drink is legitimate grounds for discussion. The law is on the books so we must deal with it. Since we are in a college town we should at least acknowledge that this group drinks, they are aware of the current law and its consequences, adding an additional fine is simply stupid and harrassment.

  6. rdcanning

    Gunrock – no argument there. The issue for me is that the tools may need to be different when targeting different groups of underage drinkers. E.g. the number of large “out of control” parties by junior and senior high school students is probably quite low, so the “Safe Party Initiative” which has been used with good effect with UC Davis students, doesn’t really do much good with the younger crowd. Fines for younger drinkers has some effect – DPD uses helmet tickets to good effect around the high school and jr. highs to increase safety of bike riders. Having been a parent of one teen who got two tickets (the first one is always dismissed) it definitely has a message value in the family. Additionally, citations for younger drinkers is a way to connect them with diversion programs which by default involve the family. Trease Peterson spoke about this last night.

  7. E Roberts Musser

    What I find interesting is one point that is being left out of the discussion – if students don’t want to pay the fine, they can opt to go into a diversion program. So this ordinance is attempt to get these youngsters the very help they need.

    [quote]As constructed the college kids are never going to say yes to this and why would they? Sending this back to them I’m not sure what could be accomplished. It really should be the job of the council to come up with policy alternatives. The best one on here seems to be creating language to be inserted into lease agreements that deters unruly behavior. [/quote]

    This is a very astute observation. I agree that sending this back to the very students who want to party hardy is not likely to prove efficacious. And I really like the idea of putting language in lease agreements that deters unruly behavior. I would really like to see the Vanguard do an article on this particular issue/solution. I think a previous commenter (medwoman) mentioned this solution was tried in Berkeley (???) with great success.

    I’m not sure what the solution is to the junior high/high school kids underage drinking problem, other than this ordinance. I was chatting with a psychologist from UCD last night at the CC meeting, who informed me many high school students have already gone through drug/alcohol rehab programs by the time they graduate high school(if the do). It is clear this town has a serious drinking problem that needs to be addressed. To do nothing is not acceptable…

  8. David M. Greenwald

    Elaine: I actually thing the issue of junior/ high school is separate from that of the college students and a more urgent problem. I’m not sure I agree with your statement that this town has a serious drinking problem, but I do agree that there is something that must be done.

  9. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Elaine: I actually thing the issue of junior/ high school is separate from that of the college students and a more urgent problem. I’m not sure I agree with your statement that this town has a serious drinking problem, but I do agree that there is something that must be done. [/quote]

    If you don’t think this town has a serious drinking problem, then you didn’t listen very closely to Officer Peterson. I would have to go back and listen to the videotape, but I thought she said that underage drinking for those under 18 in this town is up 25%. I’ve seen the problem close up in the alleyway right across from my house. The UCD psychologist confirmed Officer Peterson and my suspicions – there is a serious drinking problem going on in this town for those under the age of 18. The Picnic Day debacle shows there is a serious drinking problem going on for those who are college age. Neighborhoods are not just imagining this kind of thing – drunk students are out of control. It is my understanding that one of the recent students who was walking here in Davis, killed by an automobile, was drinking. Hello, wake up and smell the alcohol – this town reeks of it!

  10. David M. Greenwald

    I guess we first have to define our terms. What constitutes “serious” in your estimation? Do we have statistics on drinking or arrests under 18?

  11. rdcanning

    I’d like to see the numbers that give creedance to the notion that under-18 drinking is up 18%. Certainly the police’s own numbers over the past two fiscal years suggest that the number of alcohol-related arrests of under-18 year olds is up from 30 to 49. But that’s police numbers. How many kids have been sent to diversion? How many kids have been seen for alcohol-related incidents in the emergency room at Sutter Davis? Simply looking at police statistics is only part of the story. Just because kids gather and drink and smoke in alleyways doesn’t provide evidence that drinking is up, just as simply because a psychologist says so isn’t good enough. Emotional appeals shouldn’t guide our decisions – data and evidence should. And criminalizing behavior doesn’t provide all the answers. Let’s take a look at another public health problem that has yielded to a comprehensive prevention plan: cigarette smoking. Think about all the sanctions and ways that our governments, health establishments, and law enforcement agencies have combined to reduce deaths due to smoking. This is the kind of program that underage drinking demands. I would have been a lot happier with this proposed ordinance if the police, the schools, UC Davis health, and others had come forward with a list of all the pieces of a prevention plan that is already in place and said – here’s the hole in the plan and this ordinance with fill it and make it a better plan. But they didn’t – they came up with one ordinance and expected everybody to go for it. If they (or whatever staff wrote the report) had taken a look at some policy websites, they would have seen that this type of ordinance is not in the common list of proposed ordinances.

    (With all due respect to Capt. Pytel and Chief Black, the police may believe they do a good job on consent and that people consent willingly, but social science research on demand characteristics suggests otherwise. Having a gun, a uniform, and a ticket pad out and ready to go, goes a long way toward someone – especially someone under age and inebriated – to consent.)

    I’m not adverse to this ordinance if done correctly and as part of a larger program of prevention. I’m a stickler for evidence-based programs, especially when my money and our students’ health is on the line.

  12. rdcanning

    David – the staff report listed police arrests of under-18’s as 30 in 2009/10 and 40 in 2010/2011. That’s an increase of 43% I think. Now these are small numbers but probably a rough underestimation of the problem. These numbers do not count school contacts which are probably quite substantial. I don’t know if the district publishes them. I think an increase of 10% is serious. The problem has such serious consequences that small increases are serious and demand serious responses.

  13. David M. Greenwald

    There are tricky problems when the size is so low compared to the overall number of students that it is difficult to distinguish an increase of ten from statistical noise and enforcement changes. I’d rather see a longer term trend and look at school incidents. I’m sufficiently more concerned about this issue than the 18-20 year old issue.

  14. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]I guess we first have to define our terms. What constitutes “serious” in your estimation? Do we have statistics on drinking or arrests under 18?[/quote]

    [quote]There are tricky problems when the size is so low compared to the overall number of students that it is difficult to distinguish an increase of ten from statistical noise and enforcement changes.[/quote]

    [quote]I’d rather see a longer term trend and look at school incidents.[/quote]

    Sounds like you don’t care to look at the problem at all. I would suggest you go to the nearest high/junior high school – DHS/Emerson/Holmes – and talk to the Counselors there. I’m sure they could give you an earful about underage drinking…

    Secondly, you have a police officer tell you underage drinking arrests have increased by 25% in Davis, but somehow you dismiss that as “statistical noise”.

    Thirdly, it appears you choose to ignore the Picnic Day debacle and its direct relationship with drinking.

    Fourthly, entire neighborhoods are starting to speak up about the drinking problem and its repercussions (of graffiti, public urination, vomiting, obnoxious behavior, unsafe behavior, etc.), bc it is becoming a nuisance all over town.

    Fifthly, it was suspicioned one of the students recently killed by stepping in front of a car was drunk at the time. She reeked of alcohol is my understanding.

    I would say, “Houston, we have a problem!”. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one – I prefer to err on the side of caution/safety. I don’t want to see any more kids die from alcohol poisoning or being hit by a car bc of being too drunk to use proper caution when stepping out into the street. I want to feel safe in my neighborhood, and I don’t want the side of my house spray painted with graffiti by drunken students.

    And drunk students can be prey to criminals. When my son was beaten by gang members running in West Davis, the same gang members got a hold of a drunk college student one night and assaulted the college student so severely he wound up in the hospital for quite some time.

  15. Mr.Toad

    “I agree that sending this back to the very students who want to party hardy is not likely to prove efficacious.”

    That is not the reason they will not buy in. It isn’t that they want to abuse alcohol its because they don’t want to empower the police to bother them.

  16. David M. Greenwald

    “Sounds like you don’t care to look at the problem at all.”

    Funny, that’s why I spent several hours yesterday talking to people about it preliminarily.

    “Secondly, you have a police officer tell you underage drinking arrests have increased by 25% in Davis, but somehow you dismiss that as “statistical noise”. “

    That’s a one year change of 10. I didn’t say it was statistical noise, what I said was that given the data, I couldn’t distinguish it from statistical noise. It’s amazing how you try to twist people’s words – even when they are in writing.

    “Thirdly, it appears you choose to ignore the Picnic Day debacle and its direct relationship with drinking. “

    Evidence?

    “Fourthly, entire neighborhoods are starting to speak up about the drinking problem and its repercussions (of graffiti, public urination, vomiting, obnoxious behavior, unsafe behavior, etc.), bc it is becoming a nuisance all over town.”

    I’m unclear on the relationship between complaints on picnic day and how it relates to underage drinking.

    “Fifthly, it was suspicioned one of the students recently killed by stepping in front of a car was drunk at the time. She reeked of alcohol is my understanding. “

    That’s one incident that while tragic, does not prove anything outside of being one incident.

    I’m interested in looking into stuff, I’m not interested in hyperbole or premature conclusions.

  17. David M. Greenwald

    “That is not the reason they will not buy in. It isn’t that they want to abuse alcohol its because they don’t want to empower the police to bother them. “

    Mr. Toad you are exactly right. The students that came on Tuesday night are not the problems. Their concern is about process.

  18. medwoman

    “”I agree that sending this back to the very students who want to party hardy is not likely to prove efficacious.”

    I agree with Mr Toad and David that this comment is not reflective of the student situation. Part of the problem with broad generalizations about groups and what “they” do is that it tends to promote simplistic views of problems and simplistic solutions to complex problems.
    In the case of underage drinking in Davis, I think there are several quite distinct groups of students we should be taking into account:
    1) Middle school and high school students who do not drink
    2) Middle school and high school students who do drink
    3) 18 -20 year o,ds who don’t drink
    4) 18 – 20 year olds who drink responsibly
    5) 18 – 20 year olds who are the problem drinkers.
    Why include the non drinkers in this discussion at all ? Because these kids are the natural allies of all concerned adults in attempting to design a comprehensive solution to the very complex issues of underage drinking. No one is more influential in the lives of students than other students.
    There are many students who are as deeply troubled by the bad behavior of their peers as are the adults. I know because my daughter, when in junior high and high school approached me to intervene with some of her friends who were getting into trouble with drugs and alcoho.l I did intervene through their parents. At the college level, both my son and daughter have been thoroughly disgusted by the obnoxious behavior of their heavily drinking peers. In my daughters case the disgust is due to disruptions in her ability to study. In my son’s case, I fear it is because it disturbed his ability to host non disruptive parties. Whatever the reason, I strongly feel that we should be leveraging the positive attitudes of the non offenders.
    Discounting the genuine concerns of the nonabusers and pretending that the only reason that a student might object to this proposal is because they “want to party hardy” could be seen as a bit of an insult to those who agree that this is a problem, would like to find ways to help, and just happen to be in the targeted age group. As I have learned in the administrative part of my job, it is critically important to identify your allies, build on those relationships, identify what their strongest contribution is likely to be, and empower them in their efforts. From my vantage point at the city council meeting, at least some of these students looked to be sincere, potential allies and I think the city council is wise not to discount their potential bacause of their youth.

  19. 91 Octane

    vanguard: “Funny, that’s why I spent several hours yesterday talking to people about it preliminarily.”

    you spent several hours talking to people about it who you knew would go along with your preconcieved ideas about it, namely there is no problem.

    vanuard: “That’s a one year change of 10. I didn’t say it was statistical noise, what I said was that given the data, I couldn’t distinguish it from statistical noise. It’s amazing how you try to twist people’s words – even when they are in writing.”

    a distinction without a difference.

    vanguard: “Thirdly, it appears you choose to ignore the Picnic Day debacle and its direct relationship with drinking.

    Evidence?”

    its official: the vangard’s head is in the sand.

    medwoman: if they are non drinkers than they have nothing to worry about if this ordinance passes.

  20. David M. Greenwald

    “you spent several hours talking to people about it who you knew would go along with your preconcieved ideas about it, namely there is no problem.”

    With all due respect you have no idea what I did or who I talked to.

  21. medwoman

    91 Octane

    “If they are no drinkers then they have nothing to worry about if this ordinance passes.”

    Absolutely not true. I was beathalyzed not once, but twice, for no other reason than being a passenger in the car with someone who was wrongfully suspected of driving under the influence. I know from personal experience that it can happen. I was 58 at the time.

    Setting that aside, you seem to have completely missed my point that we should be engaging with, and enlisting the help of the non drinkers in controlling the bad behavior of their drinking peers. Peer pressure is very effective in changing youth behavior. We should be actively encouraging the engagement of non drinking students, not dismissing their concerns.

  22. David M. Greenwald

    The bigger issue is potential police encounters even if they are over 21 or not drinking. Octane is completely wrong about the concerns of the students there that evening almost all of whom were over 21.

  23. E Roberts Musser

    Interesting tidbit from Comcast news this morning:
    [quote]OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — The son of Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was drunk and had marijuana in his system when he fell into a Wisconsin river and drowned, police said Wednesday.

    Michael Philbin, 21, had a blood alcohol level of .176, more than twice the legal limit to drive, and also had marijuana at some point before he fell through the ice Jan. 8, according to a statement from police in Oshkosh, Wis.

    Police say they found no foul play or anything suspicious through their investigation, and his death was classified as an accidental drowning. He disappeared after a night out with friends in the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus area, about 50 miles from Green Bay.[/quote]

  24. E Roberts Musser

    To dmg: Rather than going tit for tat on your response to mine, let us just say we will have to agree to disagree. IMO we have a drinking problem in this town for all the reasons that I have listed. It sounds to me like you prefer to err on the side of perceived/unsubstantiated/vague potential civil liberties violations, rather than on the side of the physical safety of the students and getting them into a diversion program. This ordinance provides the impetus to get these students into a diversion program or else pay a hefty fine. I certainly think it is worth trying this ordinance to see if it works – it has a sunset provision and a requirement to collect data. As Chief Black pointed out, the open container ordinance and no-smoking ordinance seemed to have been efficacious, so there is no reason to think this ordinance won’t be equally so…

  25. David M. Greenwald

    Elaine the problem is that an open container ordinance is a very easy ordinance to enforce. It is easy to spot someone with an open container of alcohol in public. It’s also easy to spot someone with a lit cigarette. So the analogy really does not work and it’s a poor to try to use.

    Moreover the people you keep referencing when you speak are not college students, they are high school and junior high students and that is to me a very different issue. The idea that you treat people in the in the 18-20 age group as though their problems were the same as those in 13-17 age frame is a misunderstanding of what is going on. A 20 year old drinking is a very different sort of issue than 13 year old or even a 17 year old.

  26. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Elaine the problem is that an open container ordinance is a very easy ordinance to enforce. It is easy to spot someone with an open container of alcohol in public. It’s also easy to spot someone with a lit cigarette. So the analogy really does not work and it’s a poor to try to use. [/quote]

    It was not my analogy, it was Chief Black’s – I’ll defer to his judgment on the issue over yours…

    [quote]Moreover the people you keep referencing when you speak are not college students, they are high school and junior high students and that is to me a very different issue. The idea that you treat people in the in the 18-20 age group as though their problems were the same as those in 13-17 age frame is a misunderstanding of what is going on. A 20 year old drinking is a very different sort of issue than 13 year old or even a 17 year old.[/quote]

    Over-drinking at any age is unsafe, as evidenced by the article I noted where the student who died was 21…

  27. David M. Greenwald

    “It was not my analogy, it was Chief Black’s – I’ll defer to his judgment on the issue over yours… “

    You don’t need to rely on his judgment, you need to assess whether the analogy is applicable – he is trying to spin – you need to decide if that spin is warranted. I argue otherwise and you have appealed to authority which is fallacious reasoning.

    “Over-drinking at any age is unsafe, as evidenced by the article I noted where the student who died was 21…”

    I don’t disagree, but I hardly see how this ordinance gets at this problem, particularly when you acknowledge it extends beyond underage drinking and the Chief and Captain acknowledged on Tuesday this is not going to stop drinking.

  28. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]You don’t need to rely on his judgment, you need to assess whether the analogy is applicable – he is trying to spin – you need to decide if that spin is warranted. I argue otherwise and you have appealed to authority which is fallacious reasoning. [/quote]

    Sigh. I believe Chief Black’s reasoning is sound, not spin.

    [quote]I don’t disagree, but I hardly see how this ordinance gets at this problem, particularly when you acknowledge it extends beyond underage drinking and the Chief and Captain acknowledged on Tuesday this is not going to stop drinking.[/quote]

    The hope is the ordinance will discourage underage drinking, even if it doesn’t stop it (you can avoid the fine by going into a diversion program). IMO, this ordinance is certainly worth a try, to protect both students and the neighbors from drunk students’ bad behavior.

  29. David M. Greenwald

    ” I believe Chief Black’s reasoning is sound, not spin.”

    You are entitled to your opinion but you have to admit catching someone smoking or with an open container is far easier and therefore I don’t think the analogy works. You’ve not countered that but instead appealed to Chief Black’s authority. Again that’s fallacious reasoning.

  30. Mr.Toad

    I think the Chief is sincere and responding to the ever ongoing problem of alcohol abuse and complaints from the citizenry. To deny that alcohol causes problems is refusing to see the sun shine. The question is how do you address the problem and the Chief wants to do it how he thinks his officers can make a difference, through tougher enforcement tools, fines and diversion to deter the behavior.

    While I understand where he is coming from I disagree on his methodology because I don’t like the abuse heaped on the college kids who are treated like second class citizens in Davis. If there is another way to try to get a grip on the behavior without casting too wide a net over behavior that is not a problem I’m all for it.

    This is why i like the idea of inserting language into rental agreements that address the behaviors that are bothersome to neighbors. It takes the cops out of it and makes it a civil manner. You would think most landlords would want to protect their property from such renters and want to preserve their relationships with their neighbors.

    School age drinking is another problem that the community should address but needs to be addressed differently. The simplicity of a one size fits all ordinance is overshadowed by the complexity of the real world.

  31. Ryan Kelly

    I have a couple of problems with this ordinance.

    The San Francisco D.A. held a press conference last week to announce that its office is dropping prosecution for 100’s of DUI’s, because the breathalysers used during traffic stops have been found to be repeatedly and consistently faulty. They found that non-alchoholic substances, such as soy sauce, mouthwash, etc. are measuring levels of “intoxication” over legal limits and the charges cannot be proven in court with this problem. Blood tests would be the only way to really determine that the level of intoxication. Do we really have money to run these tests?

    There is no evidence that the diversion program that the Police Department runs is effective. “Scared straight” programs have been found to not work. I would like an evidence-based program in place.

    I think the problem lies in the fact that the local policeman cannot detain someone, even to drive a drunk juvenile home or the station and hand them over to their parents, without arresting them. Apparently, if they do this, parents freak out. Why not just make an ordinance that allows the police to do just that and then leave it up to the parents to discipline their child. I would appreciate it if a friendly policeman was out their watching over the safety of my kid, but I get annoyed when discipline is then taken out of my hands, or I have to pay a fine or be involved in a lengthy diversion program as a blanket penalty.

  32. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]You are entitled to your opinion but you have to admit catching someone smoking or with an open container is far easier and therefore I don’t think the analogy works. You’ve not countered that but instead appealed to Chief Black’s authority. Again that’s fallacious reasoning.[/quote]

    So Chief Black’s reasoning is fallacious bc it doesn’t agree w yours? Sigh…

  33. E Roberts Musser

    [quote] i like the idea of inserting language into rental agreements that address the behaviors that are bothersome to neighbors.[/quote]

    I think is a great suggestion… but I will betcha’ ten dollars to donuts the kids will fight this one tooth and nail… just a prediction…

  34. medwoman

    Elaine,

    They might not like it. I am sure my son would prefer to be able to party as long and as loudly as he likes. The point is that it is not done by ordinance. It isn’t voted on nor do I believe it is universal. It takes a commitment by a landlord to work proactively with the students to whom he or she rents. It takes spelling out the rules specifically and it relies on the established students in the house explaining the importance of the rules to the newer students and frankly policing their own roommates. This last semester, they failed to impress the incoming freshmen who blew it early in the year. No more parties until the next semester. You can imagine that the response of the non involved students was not positive, and that it won’t happen again this semester. It’s not perfect,but I believe that if enough landlords were serious about enforcement, this might be better than what is being proposed for the older age group. Of course, it does nothing at all to improve the situation of the younger students such as those who seem to like to populate your alley. But I don’t believe that unless someone is willing to call the police on them when they are actually there, that the proposed ordinance would help with that situation anyway.

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