Local News

New Ordinance Designed to Turn Down Volume on Loud Parties

Posted July 18, 2000

— The party may be over for big bashes like Raleigh's annual Brent Road celebration. Police have a new weapon in the fight against loud parties.

The Raleigh City Council passed a nuisance ordinance Tuesday that will make it easier for police to crack down on loud partiers. The ordinance also allows police to hold landlords responsible.

The annual Brent Road bash is the mother of all parties. Last year, close to 7,000 N.C. State students converged on the west Raleigh street for the annual back-to-school celebration.

It is a big party with a long history of drunken brawls, rowdiness, and destruction.

Police and some residents say enough is enough. They believe the Brent Road party has turned into a public nuisance and a public safety issue.

"It has gotten out of control. What at one time was a party is now a near riot," said Raleigh Police Capt. Mike Longmire. said.

Raleigh police say they will crack down aggressively on rowdy partiers this year.

"We plan to take a zero-tolerance perspective and make physical arrests," Longmire said.

Some Brent Road residents disagree with Longmire's plans. For many, the party is a tradition -- something they look forward to every year.

"It's a lot of fun. It would be a shame to let it go," said resident John Elek.

Over the years, most people arrested at the Brent Road party have not lived in the area. For Raleigh City Councilman Benson Kirkman, the out-of-towners were a compelling reason to introduce the tougher city ordinance.

"When you start having folks coming in from other states, you start to think there's something here that maybe we really don't need," Kirkman said.

The party is more than a month away, and police are already talking strategy. They are meeting with theWake County Sheriff's Department, theN.C. State Highway Patrol, Brent Road neighbors andNCSUrepresentatives.

Plans call for more than 300 officers to work the party, setting up roadblocks and DWI checkpoints.

The new law is actually a combination of existing noise and nuisance laws that will make it easier to put the brakes on out-of-control revelers, according to Kirkman. He, along with worried homeowners and NCSU officials, pushed the law.

Under the new ordinance, police can cite not only those who give and go to parties, but also those who manage and own properties where bashes are held. In the past, police could arrest partiers only for specific illegal acts, such as public urination and disorderly conduct. From staff and wire reports

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