Lawbreaking partiers face big fines in SLO this Halloween weekend

Halloween partygoers who break the law in San Luis Obispo will face steep fines this weekend.

A city ordinance, called the safety enhancement zone, will be in effect from midnight Wednesday to 7 a.m. Monday, doubling fines for various infractions.

The San Luis Obispo Police Department will also quadruple the number of officers it has on patrol Friday. The department enlisted the help of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, Cal Poly’s University Police Department, the Santa Maria Police Department and the Paso Robles Police Department.

Fines for the following violations will double: possession of an open container, noise violations, unruly gatherings, urination in public and possession of dangerous weapons.

The Police Department will keep twice its usual staffing throughout the weekend because several other large events coincide with Halloween this year, including Cal Poly’s Homecoming and a soccer match against UC Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo police Capt. Chris Staley said.

In 2010, the San Luis Obispo City Council added Halloween and St. Patrick's Day to the ordinance, which stipulates that first-offense violations double to $700 from $350 and second offenses increase to $1,000 from $700 during those days.

Law enforcement will also rely on two other ordinances crafted to curb disturbances related to parties and noise.

Violators of the unruly gathering ordinance, which pertains to parties of 20 or more people deemed a substantial disturbance, face a $1,000 fine, and violators of the city's noise ordinance will be given a $700 fine.