Fighting The Blacked Out Blues: How To Party In Isla Vista Without Getting In Trouble


Tim Fucci

Staff Writer

Congratulations – you’ve just enrolled at the most renowned party school in the country and after saying good-bye to mom and dad, you can’t wait to be held upside down over a keg and drink till you can’t remember which way Del Playa is, right? Wrong!

Weekends in Isla Vista are always funky, but if you don’t understand the rules, you will end up at the lamest party in IV – the drunk tank. The same laws still apply in IV like anywhere else, and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol isn’t shy about enforcing them.

According to Deputy Tony DeLeo of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, 1040 citations have been issued so far in 2011, with the average weekend tallying about 21 cites from Friday through Sunday.

With the help of Deputy DeLeo, and with the advice of some of Isla Vista’s biggest party legends, The Bottom Line has provided a quick guide on how to have a great time in Isla Vista without getting in trouble with the law.

Consumption of alcohol in public, even on the beach, is illegal. Never walk down the street with an open beer or cocktail because an open container ticket will cost $235.

For anyone under the age of 21, it is a misdemeanor offense to consume or be in possession of alcohol. If you decide to forgo that law and get your party on, you run the risk of facing serious consequences.

“First time offenders, the fine is $416 plus $165 for the youth offender program,” said Deputy DeLeo. “If they take the class, they keep their license. If they don’t take the class, their license is suspended for one year plus they pay the fine”.

MIPs are common in IV, and no level of sweet talk will convince the foot patrol to let you off. If you are under 21 and choose to drink, the only place you should carry your alcohol is in your stomach.

With the enforcement of the Social Host Ordinance in Santa Barbara County, which defines a party as a gathering of five or more people, the foot patrol can easily cite homes for furnishing alcohol to minors, and this carries a hefty fine. It’s a misdemeanor and the party hosts can be subject to arrest or a citation and a $4,070 fine.

Ara Karamian, a fourth-year political science and physics double major, has lived in Isla Vista for nearly three years. A DJ on the weekends, Karamian has learned the ins and outs of the IV party scene.

“Don’t carry an open container, that’s obvious,” Karamian said. “Don’t hang out on the curb because cops are going to give you shit and don’t pee in public. Music has to be turned down by midnight on the weekends. They inform your parents off your GOLD account if you get a citation too, so go on there and change your address if you don’t want to get in trouble with your parents.”

Grace Zamora first moved to Isla Vista when she was 18. Now 21, Zamora has enjoyed three citation-free years. What’s her secret?

“I have no idea,” she said as she mixed herself a drink. “I’m just the type of person who doesn’t draw attention to myself so the cops aren’t an issue. I’m just very well composed; I’m just a very well composed drunk.”

If you are stopped by the cops and are in violation of the law, man-up and accept your fate. Too often has an overly-confidant party animal tried to flee the police by foot only to be tackled down and tazed moments later. Never lie about your birthdate or identity either; Deputy DeLeo and his colleagues on the foot patrol will know you’re lying – they’re professionals in dealing with drunk kids.

Offering his final words of wisdom for eager new party goers, Deputy DeLeo said that if students act responsibly, obey the law and don’t attract unnecessary attention to themselves or their residences, then the likelihood of being contacted by the IVFP in an enforced manor will be greatly reduced.

And so baby Gauchos, you are now ready for the jungle that is IV. Always be safe, but more importantly, have fun!