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Tips for avoiding a noise violation ticket

April 21, 2010

With the end of the semester and graduation just around the corner, students have many reasons to celebrate. However, when having a party, it's important to keep things under control in order to avoid a pricey noise violation ticket.

On watch now through graduation

Twice a year, Fort Collins Police Services utilizes a "Party Patrol" unit to proactively and exclusively respond to noise and party complaints.

From now through graduation weekend, the Party Patrol cars will be out on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (note: the noise ordinance is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). So, if you're having a party be sure to monitor the noise level.

The city does not use decibel measurements to determine unreasonable noise. If a neighbor can stand on the edge of their property line and hear noise coming from your house, then it is probably too loud.

When police respond to a noise complaint, they have the discretion to decide if the noise coming from your property is unreasonable. If the noise is determined unreasonable, they can issue a ticket with a fine of up to $1000 per resident for the first offense. If convicted, a noise violation constitutes a criminal misdemeanor.

Tips for avoiding problems at your party*

Registeryour party: Off-Campus Life offers a party registration service during the months of April and May. Should a complaint be received by Fort Collins Police Services, the registered party host will be contacted by phone and given a “verbal” warning to break up their party within a 20-minute time frame. This allows the host to clear the party without police intervention. For more info, visit

You can call the police on yourself: If your party gets out of control, call the non-emergency number, (970) 221-6540. Ask if a noise complaint has been called in on your party. If so, have all guests leave in a quiet, orderly manner immediately. If not, you may request assistance from the police to help break up your party. If you are the first person to call on your party (before a neighbor), you are less likely to receive a ticket.

If you have any questions, contact Melissa Emerson, Community Liaison at (970) 491-6707 or visit Off-Campus Life, Room 195 of the Lory Student Center.

*Information contained here does not constitute legal advice and should never be used as a substitute for individualized counseling or legal advice from a qualified professional. Note that laws and ordinances can change or be amended at any time. Fee-paying students may receive free, legal assistance at Student Legal Services, located in the Lory Student Center.

Contact: Melissa Emerson
Phone: (970) 491-6707