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A Guide to Frequent Party Problems and Suggested Solutions.
If you're like most people, you probably enjoy getting together with friends now and then for a celebration. Maybe you're even considering throwing your own party. Whether it's a graduation, prom or holiday gathering, a party can be a fun way to mark a special occasion. To get the most out of your party it's a good idea to plan ahead, taking into consideration some potential problem areas that could spoil your good time.
In order to have a manageable party, invite only a specific number of people. An open invitation posted in a school or other public place is an invitation to unwanted problems. It doesn't hurt to invite your neighbors, too. If they decide to come they won't be disturbed by the party. And even if they don't come they may be a little more inclined to tolerate any inconveniences.
One of the most common complaints, and often the first police receive about parties, concerns parking. If you're expecting much of a crowd you'll need to consider how to deal with their vehicles. Before you even send out your invitations it's a good idea to discuss your party with your neighbors. You'll find that a little common courtesy goes a long way. If they've been made aware of the crowd, they'll be less likely to be concerned.
Remember that it is unlawful to block a driveway, to park within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant or to park within twenty feet of an intersection. It's also illegal to park in a manner other than parallel to the right curb. Where there are no curbs, vehicles must be parked fully off the roadway, but always on the right.
So that everyone knows where to park, include the information in your party invitation, and ask your neighbors to notify you if they see a vehicle illegally parked. This will save everyone a lot of headaches later.
If you're planning to serve alcoholic drinks at your party, you need to be aware of some laws that govern their use. It's illegal for anyone under age to possess alcohol, or for an adult to permit its possession or consumption by anyone underage. You must also remember to confine the consumption of any alcoholic beverages to areas out of public view. It's against the law to consume alcohol in public, so keep your guests in your back yard or inside your home.
If you plan to sell alcohol at your party, or charge an admission fee which covers drinks, you'll likely need a special permit. Recent court cases have ruled that charging a cover or charging for drinks can make the host liable for damages incurred to a guest who consumes too much even after they leave the party. If a guest has too much to drink, take away their keys and arrange for a ride home, or have them spend the night.
If you intend to have music at your party, don't forget that most jurisdictions have noise ordinances. If people can hear it beyond the limits of your property, chances are that it's too loud. If you're going to have a band, outdoor music or other loud entertainment, advise your neighbors of when it will end, and keep your promise. Reasonable limits on the volume and duration of the noise will minimize the likelihood of a complaint. Remember, one person's music is another's noise.
Most noise complaints will result in a warning by police for the first violation. If officers must respond to another complaint at the same party, arrests could result. Your best bet is immediate and continued compliance when a noise complaint comes your way.
As you plan your party, keep in mind that all parties have at least one thing in common - they tend to generate a lot of trash. Make sure that when your party is over there's nothing left behind but pleasant memories. Neighborhood littering often results in a complaint and a request for police involvement.
It's against the law to deposit any type of trash on public roads or on somebody else's private property, so make sure that you've placed enough trash containers in and around your home. Let your neighbors know that you'll collect any trash in your community that may have resulted from your party. That's common courtesy. No one likes to find paper plates and drink cans scattered around a lawn or driveway.
Theft and Vandalism
As a party host you are responsible for the behavior of your guests. Take some precautions to insure that your own property, as well as that of others in your community, is neither stolen nor damaged. Theft and vandalism are often some of the more serious criminal violations occurring at a party. Damage to vehicles, lawns or landscaping, or theft are unpleasant postscripts to an otherwise positive get-together. Frequently these incidents aren't discovered until the following day.
Start by making sure that someone is supervising the party. Allowing an unsupervised gathering to continue is bad news. Hide money, jewelry, guns and other valuables in a safe place and don't let people wander into unoccupied areas of your home. Beware of party crashers - unwanted guests who are attracted to all the activity. If someone attending your party doesn't belong there, ask him or her to leave.
To a great extent, throwing a safe and legal party is a matter of using common sense and courtesy. By letting your guests know what's acceptable, you'll head off a lot of problems before they occur. By letting your neighbors know your intentions you'll find that most of them are more than willing to endure a minor inconvenience if they're made aware of it ahead of time.
Remember, a party is intended to be fun for everyone. Keep these guidelines in mind when you plan yours and you'll be well on your way to hosting a safe and successful party.
Have A Good One!
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