Police arrest 7 under new Eugene unruly party law

EUGENE, Ore. — Police have charged seven residents of a home near the University of Oregon with violating a new Eugene law that targets the hosts of the rowdy parties often held in off-campus neighborhoods.

The seven students are the first accused of running afoul of the “social host” law approved by the City Council in January, the Register-Guard reported.

The law makes it a crime to host an “unruly gathering,” a party that features drinking and two or more criminal offenses — such as assault, harassment, disorderly conduct, noise disturbance, public urination or defecation, and littering.

The police said last week they would begin enforcing the law, and the first charges came after a party Monday night.

About 100 people attended a “pinning party” to celebrate a relationship between a fraternity member and a sorority member, police said.

Several parties were being thrown in the neighborhood, and neighbors complained about the noise. Officers arriving about 11 p.m. focused on the one house where they saw people running away.

Outside, officers found a “highly intoxicated and unconscious” 19-year-old student, who was treated at a hospital, police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said.

Of the seven residents of the house, two were also charged with allowing minors to drink, and one was charged with resisting arrest.

The “social host” ordinance carries a fine of up to $1,000. A judge could impose community service instead of a fine.

A group of UO students last week announced that they would try to put the ordinance to a vote next year.

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