The following guidelines outline tips and suggestions regarding parties and alcohol consumption in East Lansing.
Before hosting a party, visit surrounding neighbors to inform them of plans for a party. Party hosts should make every effort to keep the entire party on their own premises, including noise, litter, parking, etc.
Do not invite people you do not know to a party. The better you know people, the more likely they are to respond to your expectations and requests.
Do not advertise parties to the general public. Large parties usually get out of control and the hosts have a very difficult time maintaining order.
Always provide non-alcoholic beverages and food as an alternative to alcohol.
Do not allow underage drinking. Providing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor offense and carries a maximum fine of $1,000 + court costs and up to 60 days in jail and/or community service. Additionally, the host can be charged for having an unlawful party.
Keep the party under control. If the party is outside, please remember noise carries more than you think, especially at night. The City's noise ordinance states that you cannot have any noise that leaves your property. If there is any noise that is plainly audible from the street or adjacent property then you are subject to a noise violation citation. The police are under no obligation to give you a warning. The fine can range from $250 to $1,000 + court costs for the first offense. Additionally, your landlord will be notified every time there is any type of violation on your property.
Make sure you clean up any litter that is generated from your party immediately. Parking & Code Enforcement (PACE) officers will issue a warning for minor offenses, however, a ticket will be issued without prior warning if it is clear the litter was generated from the occupants / guests of the property and the offense is deemed serious. There is also a tiered fine system for multiple party litter offenses on a property.
Do not allow anyone to drive home if they have had too much to drink. A host can be held civilly and criminally liable for the intoxicated person's actions. Know when to stop serving alcohol.
Do not posses or provide false identification to a police officer or liquor establishment. Doing so constitutes disorderly conduct and subjects the offender to arrest and a maximum fine of $500 + court costs.
Do not sell alcohol. It is illegal to have an unlicensed cash bar. It is also illegal to sell cups, have a cover charge or charge for a band or other entertainment and "give away" the alcohol. Doing so constitutes a "blind pig" party for which you may be charged with a felony.
Do not have a party on a regular basis. Your neighbors will become less and less tolerant of the activities surrounding the party.
Do not carry open containers of alcoholic beverages in public. This is illegal in East Lansing, even if you are 21.
Have sober people at the party that are monitoring activity and can provide rides to those that have had too much to drink.
Block parties are generally prohibited by the City of East Lansing because of their potential to get out of control, resulting in personal injury and property damage. Small neighborhood block parties may be approved if alcohol is not being consumed on the streets or sidewalks. Requests for this type of block party must be approved by the City Clerk's office by completing the Block Party/Street Closure Request form. Questions can be directed to the ELPD Police Desk at (517) 319-6897.
Group Awareness Presentations
The ELPD offers presentations to neighborhood organizations, student organizations, residence halls or any other interested group to provide information regarding the following topics:
noise and nuisance ordinances
liquor laws and related violations
crimes that often accompany large, uncontrolled parties
drunk driving prevention
advice on how to host a non-disruptive party
Each presentation allows time for question and answer periods. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, contact (517) 319-6812.
Rental Owner Notification
Property owners or their legal agents will be notified of violations resulting in the issuance of police citations for nuisance parties.