You should probably clear your schedule for tomorrow afternoon. If you like drinking on the beach or in your house, you’ll want to consider attending the board of supervisors meeting tomorrow at 1 p.m.
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will be discussing the Social Host Ordinance as well as the recently drafted urgency ordinance aimed at squashing Floatopia 2.
The SHO aims to nail people who host underage drinking parties at their house. Ideally, this is great. We agree that parents should be punished for hosting these parties and buying their kids booze.
But in actuality, this ordinance is terrible. It’s going to hit us in I.V. hard, even if it wasn’t intended for us. Despite having gone through four rewrites, this fifth draft of the SHO is still incredibly vague, which leaves it open to interpretation. A host can be served the fine if minors are drinking at any “party, gathering, or event,” which is described as “a group of five or more persons who have assembled or are assembling for a social occasion or a social activity.” So in an apartment with six roommates (very likely in I.V.) if all of them get together to watch House (a very social activity by some standards) and decide to split a six-pack, will the police be able to knock on the door and dole out a fine to the “host”?
However, IVFP officers have said they aren’t looking to use the SHO to crack down on small hangouts like that. Then why implement the ordinance? The police already have enough tools on their belt to punish underage alcohol consumption, both by the drinker and the provider of the drink. For example, they can cite partygoers with any of the following:
Distributing to Minors
Minor in Possession
Noise Ordinance Violation
Drunk in Public
Disturbing the Peace
You get it. The IVFP already has enough ammo to kill our parties if they want to — and they do. We can’t remember ever seeing police officers standing outside a party, really wishing they could stop it but unable to. This ordinance is awful, but there’s no point in fixing it because it’s wholly unnecessary.
As for the urgency ordinance to ban alcohol on the beach below I.V. for six months: touché, Santa Barbara County. So much for the inevitability of Floatopia 2. Our guess is that this ordinance will pass easily; no supervisor in his or her right mind will say yes to us college kids drinking on the beach after the insanity that was Floatopia. It was pretty dangerous having all those drunk people in the ocean, and we left the beach looking like the shore of the River Styx. R.I.P. Floatopia. For you, we’ve written an obituary below.
The Social Host Ordinance, however, hasn’t yet met such a terrible fate. Please, if you have the time and the will power, head down to the board of supervisors meeting tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the County Administration Building (across from the courthouse).
Editor’s note: A bus will leave for the county building from Embarcadero Hall at noon tomorrow. RSVP to email@example.com.
Also, the Isla Vista Tenants Union will meet tonight at 8:30 in their office above Grafikart to prep for Tuesday.