Two Halloween pumpkins at night. Credit: Stock Photo

San Luis Obispo City Council will be enforcing increased police patrol and doubled fines for their annual safety enhancement zone on Halloween from Monday at 12:01 a.m. until 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

The safety enhancement zone was created to ensure the public’s safety by managing adverse behaviors that increase during impacted dates of the year such as Halloween night, according to the city website.

Fines are doubled for noise, unruly gatherings, social hosting, public urination, and open containers during the safety enhancement zone.

Noise citations usually apply if a resident is making noise that is heard 50 feet from the property line between 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. or if it can be heard from outside the property line from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m, according to an previous reporting from Mustang News.

Fines for noise citations normally cost $350 for first offenses, $700 for repeat offenses and $1,000 for subsequent citations. The residents are also required to pay for the cost of the officers’ response time in addition to the original fine if they have to return to a residence after a citation. 

Unruly gatherings entail 20 or more people and “involves unlawful conduct” that causes a “substantial disturbance” in a “significant segment of a neighborhood,” according to the City of San Luis Obispo.  

Disturbances such as excessive noise, public drunkenness, serving alcohol to minors and public urination are considered unlawful conduct. The original fine for an unruly gathering is $700 for each host of the gathering, according to the article.

While the safety enhancement zone is only on Monday, there will still be an increased number of police officers handing out citations the weekend before, according to Neighborhood Outreach Manager Christine Wallace.

“Fines are still expensive before the safety enhancement zone from $350 to $1000, and SLOPD has additional patrol staff scheduled to help ensure everyone is safe throughout the City,” Wallace said. 

The City staff will also be handing out 3,800 reflective trick-or-treat bags with Halloween safety tips to all local elementary schools as part of their City’s Vision Zero Initiative to prevent all traffic-related severe injuries and deaths, according to the City of San Luis Obispo.  

Cal Poly Dean of Students Joy Pedersen sent out an email on Wednesday, October 26 to remind students of the safety enhancement zone and the doubled fines. She also informed students to avoid fentanyl, an illegal drug substance. Overdose prevention kits are available at the Health Center Pharmacy, she said.

For further questions on the Halloween safety enhancement zone, contact Wallace at cwallace@slocity.org.