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City Council approves red tag fine increase

Posted at 5:28 AM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 13:44:11-04

Red tag fines are going up -- and some University of Arizona students say they feel targeted.

"It's he said, she said," U of A junior Clark Knobel said. "But the only difference is that it's neighborhood associations and police officers versus college students."

He's created a petition with nearly 1,000 signatures by students who feel the punishment is too much for having an "unruly gathering."

Furthermore, he says he'd like to see the city create an outright definition of what constitutes an "unruly gathering." In his experiences, Knobel explained sometimes small groups of students just hanging out will get hit with a red tag.

"We need to know what is acceptable and what is unacceptable," Knobel said. "If they put a maximum decibel limit, then we would know how loud everything could be and how many people we could have over."

If a house receives a red tag for an unruly gathering, a first offense will cost $500 plus a six month probationary period. A subsequent second offense warrants a $750 fine, a third gets a $1,000 fine, and the fourth will get a $1,500 fine.

Daniel Millstone lives in the West University neighborhood.

"This neighborhood is known for being a party neighborhood," he said.

Once an undergrad at the U of A -- now finishing up a graduate degree -- he's experienced both sides of the situation. While he understands students want to have a good time, he also wants them to understand non-students do live in the area as well.

"There's a difference between having 10 people over and having a massive party," he said. 

He feels it isn't necessarily right for small groups of students to get hit with a red tag -- but it should be a case by case basis. However, Millstone did say if it happens repeatedly, the students need to change their habits. He wants students to realize that their partying may get in the way of some residents quality of life.

"Some people next door might be getting up to go to work the next day," Millstone said. "At 6 a.m., 7 a.m."

His advice to students that want to avoid the fines? Be respectful of neighbors, and always communicate with them.