Dayton passes new “nuisance party” law to crack down on risky gatherings

Pictured are police during UD’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration 2023. Photo courtesy of Keegan Gupta for Flyer News.

Lucy Waskiewicz | News Editor

The city of Dayton has passed a new law that helps police break up parties or gatherings that become a “nuisance.”

The law, which passed unanimously on Feb. 21, allows police to order nuisance parties to cease and criminally cite property owners, residents and others responsible for allowing nuisance parties on their properties. 

After a gathering is declared a nuisance, police can charge anyone who does not immediately return to their home with a fourth-degree misdemeanor violation.

The law defined “nuisance parties” as “social gatherings or events that result in unlawful liquor sales and consumption, illegal drug use, disorderly conduct, public indecency, property damage, littering, traffic law violations, noise disturbances and other conduct and conditions that can cause injury, damage or inconvenience,” according to a report published by the Dayton Daily News.

The University sent an email to students on Feb. 29 regarding the new ordinance.

“While large gatherings that periodically occur on our campus were cited as a factor in its adoption, Dayton Police Department leaders have expressed concern publicly about large, unruly and potentially dangerous gatherings at short-term rental properties, during some holiday celebrations and at block parties across the city,” the email said. “The new ordinance is an additional tool for neighbors and law enforcement to enhance safety and security in communities across Dayton, including in our student neighborhoods and the UD community as a whole.”

Multiple local news outlets have framed their coverage on the new law around UD St. Patrick’s Day parties, which have historically drawn large crowds of students to Lowes Street. Last year’s street party ended with 17 arrests, only four of which were UD students.

However, police referenced multiple instances of nuisance parties on private properties such as rental units like Airbnbs. Last September, police were called to a party at an Airbnb in South Park after noise complaints. Although the property was supposed to be rented to two adults and two children, they found it was filled with people. 

Two people told police they would clear the partygoers, and the officers left without any legal action to take.

Later, police returned to the property after gunshots were reported. Multiple gunshot holes were found in the front of the Airbnb, which was full of trash.

In a statement to Dayton 24/7 Now, Dayton Police Department Lieutenant Colonel Eric Henderson said the department wants Daytonians’ voluntary compliance with the law.

“If there’s a party that’s out of control, we get called and we show up, and it appears to be out of control, we just want the resource to be able to utilize,” Henderson said.

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