Thousands of people are gearing up to celebrate the Fourth of July in Newport Beach to take advantage of the sun, beaches and parties, but police say revelers should expect a heavy police presence.
In an effort to keep the number of incidents to a minimum this year, over 200 officers from Newport Beach, the California Highway Patrol and the Orange County Sheriff's Department will be monitoring the festivities in Newport on Independence Day. Police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe said that last year, officers arrested 119 people -- 85 percent of whom live outside of Newport Beach -- and handed out over 500 citations.
"The most significant problems deal with drinking in public, public intoxication, fighting, uncontrolled parties, and the possession and use of fireworks," Lowe said. "Teams of officers will be assigned to various blocks with large gatherings and will be strictly enforcing all laws."
- Fines are tripled on July 4 for municipal code violations in the Safety Enhancement Zone. This area is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the south, 32nd Street and Newport Blvd. on the east, Pacific Coast Highway on the north and 54th Street on the west. The designation is effective from 12:01 a.m. on July 4 to 3 a.m. on July 5. Fines within the zone are triple the normal amount and can be as much as $3,000.
- Don't allow people to leave your party with alcoholic beverages or loiter on the sidewalk in front of your residence. A citation for this violation inside the Safety Enhancement Zone would result in a $300 fine, and you may be arrested.
- Disturbing the peace is illegal on both public and private property. Loud music, fighting, quarreling and offensive conduct, individually or collectively, may qualify as disturbing the peace and result in a misdemeanor.
- If you plan to have loud music or a live band at your Fourth of July party, you will need to obtain a permit through the city. If you don't get one, you can receive a citation and risk a fine.
- If an officer arrives at your party when it is loud and/or out of control, the officer can issue you a "disturbance advisement card," which can result in fines up to $750 for the tenant and $1000 for the property owner.
- Click here for the city’s municipal code to make sure you know the rules and regulations of the city.
- Curfew for people under age 18 is 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. A violation could result in a citation and/or detention by a police officer. A citation for violation of curfew in the Safety Enhancement Zone during July 4 would result in a $300 fine.
- Any adult found providing, selling or allowing minors to consume or use alcohol, marijuana, or any other type of drugs on their premises may be arrested. Police may also detain a minor found in possession of, has consumed, or is under the influence of, alcohol.
- Minors cannot be present at parties where alcohol is being served without direct parental supervision.
- Do not allow your party to become an “open” party. If party crashers arrive and will not leave, call the Newport Beach Police Department at 949-644-3717. Remember that you are responsible for whatever happens at your residence or rental property.
- "Unruly" Parties: The City Council recently passed a that established steep fines for people and property owners involved in out-of-hand parties. Under the ordinance, individual partygoers, property owners, party hosts and tenants all face fines, which can reach $3,000. The Police Department recommends those planning to have a party keep their guest list small, control those who attend and keep the booze on private property.
- Fireworks: Despite being available in neighboring cities, fireworks are illegal in Newport Beach.
- Beaches: All ocean and bay front beaches are open to the public from the hours of 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. (This includes the areas from the Santa Ana River Jetty to Crystal Cove State Park.) Crystal Cove beaches close at sunset. Portable barbecues are not allowed on any City beaches, but fire rings and public barbecues are available near the Balboa Pier and at Corona del Mar State Beach from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. The Newport and Balboa Piers are open from 5 a.m. until midnight.
- Parking: People planning to visit the peninsula on July 4 are encouraged to carpool. Parking spaces fill up early. City parking lots at City Hall and Superior Avenue will be closed at 5 p.m. July 3 until 7 a.m. July 5. There will be a significant number of parking control officers. If you park illegally, expect to get cited or towed.
- Street Closures: Balboa Boulevard from 32nd Street to Channel Place will be closed on July 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to westbound vehicular traffic for the Newport Peninsula bike and dog parade. From 10:30 a.m through the early morning hours of July 5, Seashore Dr. between 38th St. and 51st St. will be closed to all vehicular traffic (limited ability to leave the area for some residents). Bikes and pedestrians are allowed in the closure area. 39th, 41st, 43rd, 45th, and 46th Streets between Balboa Boulevard and Seashore Drive will be closed. Southbound Orange Street at West Coast Highway will be closed. West Balboa Boulevard toward the peninsula will be open to vehicles, bicycle and pedestrian traffic but police will be monitoring the area.
Anyone with questions or concerns may call the Police Department's public information line at 949-644-3696.