Warning for house partygoers

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If you’re a college student, you’ve seen them.

Backpack-clad students hooting and hollering on sidewalks in the late hours of a Friday night looking for one thing — house parties.

With Hobo Day looming near, the Brookings Police Department wants those looking to host a party to be aware of the possible repercussions they may face and what regulations to abide by.

In Brookings’ annual crime report, 115 underage consumption charges were reported last year and more than half of the alcohol-related arrests occurred during Hobo Week.

According to BPD Lieutenant Derrick Powers, Hobo Week is a busy time for noise complaints and common nuisance calls.

“We typically get a noise complaint and respond. If we see something that we can tell is getting out of hand, we will investigate, but for the most part, it is a noise complaint that brings us to the area,” Powers said.

First-time hosts of a house party who receive a noise complaint are typically given a verbal warning. If the police respond to the same location more than once, citations for common nuisances are issued and there is potential jail time, according to the police department.

The amount of citations can vary per semester, but Powers said it is enough to “put a crimp in a college student’s style.”

Tenants of Rent in Brookings, a property rental company, face further repercussions for hosting house parties.

According to the company’s spokesperson, if the police are called to a property for a noise complaint, Rent in Brookings tenants face eviction even if they are first-time offenders.

Dairy manufacturing graduate student Lauren Chirnside attended several house parties her freshman and sophomore years in college but isn’t interested in hosting any.

“I would never personally host one because I don’t want people to damage my house or have to clean up the mess afterwards,” Chirnside said.

Powers’ main piece of advice is to be aware.

“We live in a college town, we understand house parties will happen,” Powers said. “The thing is to respect your neighbors. Make sure you understand that other people are living around you.”

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