Tips for safer parties for hosts and guests

The fall months are exciting times in Iowa City. We want everyone to have fun but stay safe. If you are thinking about hosting or attending a party this fall, there are some things to know so you can provide a safe environment and keep the peace with your neighbors and landlord.

Iowa City Police Department Fall Party Patrols  

Every weekend during the fall months, the Iowa City Police Department conducts “party patrols” to look for apartment and house parties that are disruptive to neighbors or that have signs that things might be getting out of control.  The intention behind the party patrols is not to ruin anyone’s good time, but to prevent the kind of problems that happen when parties get too big and people drink too much. We want people to party safely. 

Avoiding Party Problems

If you're thinking about having a party or going to one, there are some easy steps you can take to increase the likelihood that your guests will have a good time and decrease the likelihood that anyone will get into trouble or be harmed in any way.


Tips for hosting safer parties

Below are some tips for avoiding problems if you are thinking about being a party host or guest so you can decrease your chance of being arrested, fined, evicted, injured or harmed in some other way.

Tips for party guests

  • Avoid attending parties if you do not know the hosts.
  • Agree with your friends beforehand to watch out for one another.
  • Drink nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Alternate between alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, choose drinks with lower alcohol content.

Most common reasons party hosts get in trouble with landlords, neighbors, police

  • Neighbors are disturbed.
  • The noise gets too loud.
  • Guests are overly intoxicated and causing problems.
  • The hosts illegally charge a cover (or sell cups, collect for the utility bill, etc.).
  • Minors are drinking at the party. 

Relevant Laws and Fines

  • Possession of Alcohol Under the Legal Age (PAULA):  $330.00 for first offense.  Cost increases with second and third offenses, and driving privileges may be suspended. 
  • Disorderly house: Up to $625.
  • Open container: $195

Other consequences for UI students to consider

  • Arrest for public intoxication or underage alcohol possession and a criminal record.
  • Dean of Students sanction if you are arrested or cited. 
  • Parental notification if you receive an alcohol-related arrest/citation and are under 21.
  • Residence hall sanction and fine if found intoxicated or in possession of alcohol in residence hall.  

Additional Resources