As the first full week of school winds down, I have to admit, it has been pretty fun for me.  Believe it or not, my week probably has not been that much different than most of your week.  Let’s see, I attended a great dance at the Hub, wandered around Isla Vista for hours and smelled like beer the next morning, attended the A.S. Welcome Back 2011 concert at Storke Plaza, saw a Gaucho soccer game, met some awesome people and even ran into some old friends from last year.  I even crashed some parties and got some phone numbers!  Just like many of you, it was a great start to the year.

Now of course my perspective as a cop is a little different.  Although I really enjoy my time here at UCSB and in Isla Vista, I am here working. I get some of the best views at the concerts and games, but instead of watching Big Sean or the Gauchos score a goal, I have to watch everything else.  Kind of a bummer, but I look at it as getting to watch 5,000 people laughing, smiling, cheering and having a great time.  Not a bad gig.

As for crashing the parties, that’s something that usually doesn’t end with such a positive vibe.  And unfortunately I’m not getting phone numbers because I was the hit of the party with my sparkling personality.  But the way everyone stops and looks at me you would think I had a big splotch of jelly on my shirt.  Okay, so I did, but to be fair there was a lot of jelly in my donut last night …

The cops shut down my party and gave me a noise ticket.  They said a neighbor complained, but would not tell me who.  Don’t they have to say who called?

It’s a fair request from you to want to know who called and complained about your party.  However, if the ticket was for the noise ordinance, the violation is based on the amplified music being heard over 100 feet from the property.  So in that case, although the complaint may have brought the officers to the area, the citation is based on the officer’s observations and not the complaint from who ever called the police.  Usually, we don’t even know who called.

Now in the case of a ticket that is a result of someone signing a citizen’s arrest, you will have the opportunity to get the name of the person since it will be in the report the officer will write.  You may not get the name right away, but you will get it.

I am a student from Europe.  I just received a minor in possession (MIP) ticket, an I wonder what is going to happen next.

Probably not the official California welcome you were expecting, but don’t worry, we are still happy to have you here.  And don’t listen to the cynics.  I’m not just saying that due to the need for additional foreign revenue needed to assist in the support of the weakening domestic capital base and social infrastructure.  I’m just happy to have you here!

But seriously, the process for dealing with a MIP is a bit of a pain, but overall it is not that hard.  The first step is that you need to show up in court.  MIP requires mandatory appearance which means that you can’t handle this by telephone.  Again, it might be a pain, but the first appearance is designed to explain the process to you and advise you of your options.

If you plead guilty, the court will assign a fine and give you the opportunity to attend an alcohol/drug awareness program.  In Santa Barbara you can either attend the UCSB College Alcohol & Substance Education program, info at, or the Santa Barbara Zona Seca program, info at  By completing the program your charge is reduced to an infraction and you won’t lose your California driver’s license.

If you plead not guilty, you will be assigned a court date and will have the opportunity to meet the officer in court.  At that time you both will say what you saw or did and a judge will decide guilt or innocence.  If you are found guilty, see above.  If you are found innocent any fees paid are returned and you are a free man!

Of course this is the simple dumb downed version of the process.  There are a lot of little details about checking the ticket online or getting time extensions.  So, if you still have a question, take advantage of me and don’t hesitate to ask.  I am always happy to answer questions and help out.  I will even put down my jelly-D to help.  Damn, I gotta start wearing a bib ….

Got caught by a cop?  Your party popped by the Po-Po?  Ticked by a ticket?  If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you, Question Authority! E-mail me anytime at:  or call UCSB PD at 805-893-3446.
Sgt. Mark Signa is an officer of the UCSB Police Dept.