The University Police and/or Ellensburg Police Department respond to 911 phone calls reporting loud parties and other public disturbances. Some of the most common party-related citations, along with their penalties, are:
(Unreasonable Noise Unlawful (Ellensburg Municipal Code 5.60.060))
Ellensburg has a noise ordinance in effect 24 hours a day, but the code becomes stricter between 10 PM and 7 AM. During the day you can receive a noise violation if noise can be heard 100 feet beyond your property line. Between 10 PM - 7 AM, you can receive a noise citation if noise can be heard 50 feet beyond the estimated property line. If you are cited for a noise violation, you can be fined $513 for the 1st violation, $1,025 for the second, and $2,050 for the third violation within one year. In addition, the university is notified, and you face campus sanctions, including meetings with the Chief Conduct Officer and the Campus-Community Coalition coordinator.
(See Furnishing Alcohol to Minors (Revised Code of Washington 66.44.270))
If there are underage people at your party and the cops determine that alcohol is present, then not only will those under 21 receive Minor in Possession charges, but you as the host will receive a citation for furnishing alcohol to minors. Even if you didn’t personally provide them with alcohol, you are responsible for what happens at your party. If underage people are drinking, then you will take the heat. You could receive a separate furnishing alcohol charge for each person issued a MIP by the cops! This charge is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $5,000 fine, one year in jail, or both.
(See Minor in Possession of Alcohol (Revised Code of Washington 66.44.270))
Even if you didn’t intentionally invite anyone underage—even if your friend reassured you that they checked IDs at the door—you might end up with underage people at your party. If the cops bust your party and find that alcohol is being served or consumed, then those under 21 will be cited for a minor in possession (commonly known as an MIP). This is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $5,000 fine, one year in jail, or both.
(See Disorderly Conduct (Revised Code of Washington 9A.84.030))
If the cops come to your door to investigate a complaint of a noisy party, treat the officers with respect, provide them with the information they request, and follow their instructions. If the police officers on the scene find your behavior sufficiently belligerent—which is seen as intentionally creating risk of assault—then you will be cited for disorderly conduct. This is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine, 90 days in jail, or both. It doesn’t end there—if you are found guilty, the Ellensburg Police Department will inform the owner of your house in writing that their tenant (you) received a disorderly conduct citation. This could be grounds for eviction, since the Landlord-Tenant Act requires you the tenant to comply with all city, county, and state regulations.
As a CWU student, you are held accountable to the Student Conduct Code – for both on- and off-campus actions and behaviors. If you violate the code, either on or off campus, you will be held responsible. For specifics, please refer to Student Conduct Code.