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College Student Drinking a Beer

Flagstaff Police Cracking Down On Parties

College Student Drinking a Beer

The Flagstaff Police Department is cracking down on college parties that are generating noise complaints and hosting underage drinkers.

City of Flagstaff Police Department reports they will crack down on noise complaints and underage consumption associated with Northern Arizona University college parties. According to an article in the Arizona Daily Sun the Flagstaff Police Department are putting college students on notice “if you attend an underage drinking party, don’t be surprised if you end up in jail.”

Recently, Flagstaff Police Department arrested sixteen students between the age of eighteen to twenty one at the Grove Apartment for underage consumption, minor in possession of alcohol and contributing to the delinquency of minors, both class one misdemeanors. If you have been charged with a class one misdemeanor you can face up to 6 months in jail and fines of up to $2,500.00. The Grove Apartments is a new complex on Sawmill Road catering to NAU students just across the street from the police department.

Sgt. James Jackson of the Flagstaff Police Department stated the decision to give a warning and cite and arrest student or hosts of parties is at the discretion of the officer. However, given the increase in arrests of students for minor consumption, disorderly conduct and contributing the delinquency of minors it seems that officers are choosing to arrest students instead of giving them a warning. The Flagstaff Police Department is responding to increased pressure from residents who are fed up with all night parties and are demanding strict enforcement of noise violations.

In Arizona underage consumption or minor in possession of alcohol is a class one misdemeanor. A.R.S § 4-244.41 it is unlawful for a person under twenty-one of age to have in the person’s body any spirituous liquor. If you are found guilty at a bench trial or you plead guilty to minor in possession/underage consumption of alcohol you could face:

  • Penalties of up to $2500.00 plus surcharge and court costs;
  • Mandatory alcohol screening and education classes;
  • Driver license suspension up to 2 years;
  • A permanent criminal history.

Furthermore, a criminal history could have negative impacts on your education. A criminal arrest could lead to disciplinary action taken by Northern Arizona University, restrictions on student privileges and disqualification for student aid in the future.

The City of Flagstaff has the power to regulate noise complaints under City of Flagstaff Ordinance Section 6-08-001-0002. The Nuisance Noise ordinance states:

The following noise restrictions are hereby established for any area within the City:

A. The noise regulations of this Chapter shall apply on Monday through Friday between the hours of twelve o’clock (12:00) A.M. and six o’clock (6:00) A.M. and on Saturday and Sunday between the hours on one o’clock (1:00) A.M. and seven o’clock (7:00) A.M.

B. During the hours given in subsection (A), it shall be unlawful for any person, while outdoors or within a residential unit, to make or permit to be made any noise which is clearly audible within a residential unit other than that from which the noise may have originated.

C. The standards which shall be considered in determining whether a violation of this Section exists shall include the following:

  1. The volume of the noise;
  2. Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual;
  3. Volume of background noise, if any;
  4. The duration of the noise.

Specifically, the ordinance prohibits “loud” noise from Monday through Friday between 12:00 am until 6:00 am and on Saturday/Sunday from 1:00 am until 7:00 am. Further, officers are allowed to cite host of parties with a civil notice. If cited with a civil notice and an officer responds to the same location within 90 days, the City of Flagstaff can charge a police service fee. Basically, if the police respond to a subsequent noise complaint at the same location they can charge you for the cost of the officer who arrive on scene.

If you, a friend, or child is being prosecuted for minor consumption of alcohol, minor in possession of alcohol or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, contact the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier and ask to speak with Matt or Tony at 928-774-5400. The Firm has handled hundreds of cases related to alcohol offenses and underage consumption and has amassed a wealth of knowledge to defend the rights of our clients.

If you have any questions or concerns or you need assistance in your criminal case, we offer a free 30 minute consultation discounted rates for students and convenient payment plans. Call us at 928-774-5400 and ask to speak with any of our attorney’s.


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