Being A Good Neighbor

So You Are Going To Have A Party…

These tips might sound like a lot to think about before you have a party, but it really helps to plan ahead.

There are many ways to celebrate that do not involve the use of alcohol. If you choose to serve alcohol be sure that you serve to people 21 years of age and older. Have plenty of food available. Don’t be afraid to slow or stop someone’s drinking if you think they may be getting out of control.

Talk to your neighbors before you have your party. Let them know what you plan in terms of size, hours, and types of music. Let them know who they can contact if they have any problems. One of the major reasons for a police visit to your party is because a neighbor called in a noise complaint. Remember the more guests you have, the more responsibility you take on.

End your party at a reasonable time. Keep the party indoors with the windows closed if you know things will be loud.

Keep the size of your gathering to a reasonable size. Know who your guests are so you do not end up having 300 people showing up saying that a friend of a friend invited them. If your party spills outside of your apartment or house you can expect that the police may pay you a visit. Someone may have complained about the noise or guests trespassing on others’ property. A “come-one-come-all party” invites more than unwanted guests; it can invite trouble. It is in your best interest to know who will be attending your party. Unwanted guests, especially unwanted guests who are resistant when they have been asked to leave, can be a major problem. If you have guests who will not leave, be proactive and call the police for assistance.

The police can break up your party if they believe alcohol is being sold or consumed by minors. Remember you can be held responsible for the actions of your guests.

Your house or apartment is designed to accommodate a certain number of people. Keep the size of your gathering in line with the capacity of your home.

Be cooperative with any neighbor, police, or other concerned person who might come by during your party to discuss a problem. Being cooperative will keep the problem from escalating to a higher level of response.

Clean up after your party. Your neighbors will be more receptive to your next gathering if you clean up after your guests immediately after the party.

Pace Yourself! Know When To Stop!

If You Choose To Drink…

  • Avoid drinking games. Drink on a full stomach.
  • Provide food and nonalcoholic drinks for your guests.
  • Avoid drinks with unknown contents. Don’t let others handle your drink and do not leave it unattended.
  • Do not mix alcohol with prescription or nonprescription drugs.
  • Arrange for designated drivers. Do not let your friends drive under the influence.
  • Responsible drinking is not drinking at all if you are going to drive or consuming no more than one drink per hour (e.g. one 12 oz. beer, one 4 oz. glass of wine, on mixed drink or one shot).

If Someone You Know Drinks Too Much…

  • Don’t leave an intoxicated person alone. Turn them onto their side to prevent choking or vomiting.
  • Do not help them walk or “sleep it off”. If the person cannot be awakened they need medical attention.
  • Don’t try to give the person food or beverages, (including water or coffee) this could cause the person to choke.
  • Focus on your friend’s health and safety.


If Things Get Out Of Control: Don’t wait for someone else to call the police. If your guests or uninvited guests won’t pay attention to your requests to leave or obey the law, don’t wait for things to get out of control. Consider calling the police for help. The police will view your taking action to keep things under control as a good preventative action on your part. Remember your friends and housemates want to have a fun and safe gathering, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If the police do show up at your house they are more than likely responding to a complaint. Make sure that the person who talks to the police is sober and able to respond to requests. It is always a good idea to have one social host who stays sober during the event. Be cooperative and do as much as possible to comply with what the police are asking you to do.

Should you be convicted of a felony (for instance, rioting), the felony record may stay with you for the rest of your life. You can expect to have to explain it in a job interview, on school applications, loan applications, and it could keep you from obtaining certain jobs or being admitted to graduate and professional schools.

Interfering with a police officer can make a bad situation worse. Also, do not physically resist the police under any circumstances. Use common sense and cooperate. Understand that you can be arrested. When the police ask you to clear the area, leave right away. If you stay around after the warning you may be cited for interfering with a police officer. If the police warn that they are going to use tear gas, you need to get as far away as possible as fast as you can.

If things are clearly out of control and people are engaged in tumultuous and violent conduct (i.e., picking up rocks and throwing them), and thereby intentionally or recklessly creating a grave risk of causing public alarm, the police my issue a “Notice to Disperse” or ask people to clear an area. It is important that everyone realizes that this is a directive issued by law enforcement personnel in the performance of their duties in an emergency situation. While you may see yourself as an innocent bystander, your presence alone contributes to the crowd the police are trying to disperse. In these situations it is never a good idea to join a large crowd even as an observer. Your own safety is at risk if you remain after being asked to leave the area.

Rapid Consumption of Alcohol Can Be Life Threatening

If Someone Has Any Of These Symptoms:

  • Unconscious or semiconscious
  • Cannot be awakened
  • Has cold, clammy bluish skin
  • Their breathing is slow or irregular
  • Their breathing rate is less that 10-12 times a minute
  • They vomit while sleeping or passed out
  • They do not wake up after vomiting



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