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Hello Officer Michelle,
My concern is about a neighbor across the street. I frequently see him outside on his driveway, drinking beer and playing loud music with friends. I’m not shy to ask them to lower the volume and most times they comply.
The issue I want to address is that they drive to the liquor store to get more alcohol when I know fully well that they have exceeded the legal alcohol limit based on the number of empty cans that strewn the driveway. Is this something I should report to the police? If so, how would I go about reporting a drunk driver if I do not know their location after they drive away from their home and when they return in only 15 minutes?
Currently, there are no laws or city codes that prohibit people from drinking alcohol outside on their own private property unless they are sitting in a vehicle, providing alcohol to minors, or venturing out onto the sidewalk or street. California Penal Code Section 647f deals with people who are intoxicated in public and basically states that anyone who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or controlled substance in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety, or the safety of others, or by reason of his or her being under the influence interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way is in violation of this code.
You can call us out on the noise complaint. It is a lower priority call, but we responded to these calls. We advise the party to turn down the music and give them a warning. If we have to return they can be cited for the noise complaint. If you suspect that your neighbor is intoxicated and driving, what you would want to do is to call 911, and tell the dispatcher what transpired, provide them with a physical description of the driver, and the vehicle, including the license plate number, and the last direction the vehicle traveled. This way they can broadcast the description out to units. The units in the area can check it out and stop the vehicle. It won’t hurt to call, and being called to these types of incidents is our job. You could save someone’s life. Statistics show that most vehicle accidents occur within three miles of your home. Couple that with alcohol, and it is a recipe for disaster. If this guy has done this in the past and continues to drive, it is only a matter of time before he hurts someone.