If you or a friend has received a citation, seek legal advice from the Legal Resource Center (free for UCSB students only) at 6550 Pardall #B (around back and above Grafikart) or call 805-893-4246.


Alcohol Ban on Public Streets and Beaches (Ord. No. 4055, § 1; Ord. No. 4709, § 2, 5-5-2009; Ord. No. 4736, § 2, 12-1-2009; Ord. No. 4740, § 2, 1-26-2010)
(a)   It is unlawful for any person to drink or consume any intoxicating liquor in the unincorporated areas of the county upon any public street, public sidewalk, public highway, public parking lot or public alley.
(b)   Except as authorized by permit as set forth in subdivision (c), it is unlawful for any person to drink, consume or possess any opened or unsealed container of any alcoholic beverage or intoxicating liquor within the beach area enclosed within the following described boundaries:
On the West, the boundary of the University of California at Santa Barbara (“UCSB”) separating unincorporated Isla Vista and UCSB, beginning at the 6885 Del Playa Drive and extending to the UCSB boundary to a point 100 yards South of the Mean High Tide Line of the Pacific Ocean;
On the North, the coastal bluffs at the southerly end of the properties fronting Del Playa Drive in the 6500, 6600, 6700 and 6800 blocks;
On the East, the property boundary separating unincorporated Isla Vista and UCSB, beginning at the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive and extending the UCSB boundary to a point 100 yards South of the Mean High Tide Line of the Pacific Ocean;
On the South, a line 100 yards South of the Mean High Tide Line of the Pacific Ocean at that location;
And additionally including the following beach access pathways leading from Del Playa Drive to the area described above:
“Escondido Pass,” located between 6773 and 6769 Del Playa Dr.
Unnamed beach access at Camino Del Sur, located between 6697 and 6701 Del Playa Dr.
Unnamed beach access at Camino Pescadero, located between 6599 and 6607 Del Playa Dr.
Unnamed beach access at El Embarcadero, located between 6551 and 6549 Del Playa Dr.
Unnamed beach access at Camino Majorca, located at Camino Majorca and Del Playa Dr.
And additionally including the area commonly known as Sandyland Cove, which includes the area from Ash Avenue on the east (City of Carpinteria City Limits), to the area west of the estuary otherwise known as The Mouth of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh or Carpinteria Slough.
(c)   The park director, or designee, may establish conditions and issue event permits for the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages by designated persons within areas described in subdivision (b).


It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle. It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle. (Same standards for DUI on a bicycle – 21200.5 VC).


Any person who unlawfully fights in a public place or challenges another person in a public place to fight, 415(1) PC. Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise, 415(2) PC. Any person who uses offensive words in a public place that are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction415(3) PC.


Any person who is found in any public place under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or any combination of the above stated in a condition where he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way (passed out in a public place).

From the Legal Resource Center (LRC): The most common questions about DIP involve “How drunk do you have to be to be cited?” The standard is that you are so intoxicated that you are a danger to yourself or others, and are in public. If you are throwing up or passed out at your house you are not drunk in public, but if you are walking down the street you are ripe for picking by the IVFP. Most citations would never meet the standard for DIP, but there is no consequence to the officer for giving you a citation that is later thrown out in court. Typically, a student who receives a DIP falls within a few categories of conduct: passed out; stumbling home, and isn’t sure exactly where home is; walking alone late at night with alcohol on his/her breath; walking with a group of people but is clearly being held up by 1 or more among the group; vomiting into a planter or trash can; acting in a manner that a sober person would not. The law requires that when an officer issues a DIP he must take the individual into custody until they sober up and can care for themselves. This is a safety issue, not because the officer wants to be mean to you.  If you are too drunk to care for yourself, then you should not be left alone. It is for a judge or jury to determine whether you really were too drunk by legal standards. No test is taken to measure your BAC, and there is no requirement that it has to be taken. It is objective observations by the officer that support the citation.


Any person under the age of 21 years who has any alcoholic beverage in his or her possession, closed or open, on any street or highway or in any public place or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor.

From the Legal Resource Center (LRC): Most common questions about MIP involve the requirement that the student be in public with an alcoholic beverage. “Public” means a lot of things.  It can mean being on a public street, being in a public place (like Giovanni’s or Deja Vu), being in a common area on private property that is open to public access (like a quad are or walkway to apartments), and being visible from a public vantage point (like sitting in a living room with the door open that faces the common area of the building, or on a balcony that is visible from the street). It can also mean being at a house party that is open to the public )”open parties”) even if you are inside the house and not visible from any public vantage point.  An “open party” is treated the same as Giovanni’s or Deja Vu because it is open to the public. If something is open to the public that means the cops can enter, too.

Second most common question is “What if it wasn’t mine?” or “What if I didn’t drink from it”?  It doesn’t matter. The law does not require it to be yours or for you to have drank from the container. The law requires that you are in possession, which leads to the third most common question. “Possession” means that the container of alcohol is within your area of control.  It doesn’t mean you literally have to be holding it (which is why some students receive citations even though they set the cup down on the ground or table near them). If you have a container with alcohol within your proximity that you could reasonably reach for, then you are in “possession” of it.  If there is another person who is within the same distance from the container as you, then it is between the two of you as to who wants to take responsibility for the container. One of you will be cited, if not both.


Any person who purchases an alcoholic beverage for and/or sells, furnishes, or gives an alcoholic beverage to someone under the age of 21 is guilty of a misdemeanor.


It shall be unlawful and a misdemeanor for any person to urinate or defecate in or upon any street, sidewalk, alley, plaza, park, beach, public building or public maintained facility, or any place open to the public or exposed to public view. This section shall not be construed so as to prohibit the use for urination or defecation in the lawfully constructed restroom facilities designed for the sanitary disposal of human waste.

From the Legal Resource Center (LRC): Santa Barbara County has a local ordinance addressing people who urinate in public. Some people receive citations for illegal dumping, which is a California state law and is not applicable to urinating in public. If you receive a citation for illegal dumping the fine is quite high, but luckily our courts understand what the correct violation is and will correct the citation at court. Doing this act in public means you are in view of someone standing at a public vantage point (like street or sidewalk). You can receive a citation even if you are on private property (like in someone’s driveway) as long as you are visible from a public vantage point.


No person shall have in his or her possession on any public street or public area any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any intoxicating liquor which has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

From the Legal Resource Center (LRC): If you have an open container of alcohol and you are in a place where alcohol is not permitted (regardless of how old you are), then you  are in public with an open container. “Public” doesn’t mean the same as it does for MIP (Thank God!).  Rather, it means being on a street, at the beach or in a park where alcohol is prohibited. If you are in one of these places, but have a special permit allowing you to have alcohol at your event, then as long as you present the permit you will not be cited.

Once you are caught there is no chance of talking your way out of it with the cop.  Let me repeat that: NO CHANCE OF TALKING YOUR WAY OUT OF IT. You are better off saying as little as possible, giving your correct name and information to the cop, and being cooperative. Let the facts speak for themselves and fight your battle in court, not with the cop issuing the citation.  You will be guaranteed not win that battle, and will end on the worst end for it. None of your smart zingers will compare to the inconvenience and experience the cop can put you through.


A party becomes a public nuisance when it results in at least three or more violations including, but not limited to, Battery, Trespassing, Criminal Threats, Disturbing the Peace, Vandalism, Arson, MIP, Fires, or Unlawful Fireworks. A party will also become a public nuisance when there is “moshing” (slamming bodies into each other), when a keg is placed where the public can view it, or when the conduct of persons in attendance, it results in unsafe behaviors that are likely to cause injury to persons and property and/or provoke violent reaction from another person.


It shall be unlawful to host an outdoor festival or provide music by a professional or amateur person at any residence or other location within the Isla Vista area to which members of the public are admitted from October 26th to November 4th from the hours of 6:00 PM till 7:00 AM on each of the above listed days.  Any person violating this section shall be issued a citation.


It shall be unlawful within the unincorporated area of the County of Santa Barbara (Isla Vista) to make, assist in making, permit, continue, create, or cause to be made, any loud and unreasonable noise, music, percussion or other sound which is broadcast outside of any residence or building by means of any amplified musical instrument, drum, or similar device, or by means of any radio, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or phonograph, or by means of or employing any similar device which amplifies and produces, reproduces or broadcasts sound, during the following:

  • Night and the following morning Sunday through Thursday between 2000 (10pm) and 0700 (7am) the following day or,
  • Morning hours after midnight of any Friday or Saturday between midnight and 0700.


No person shall burn any items (e.g. furniture, trash, etc.) on a street or on their property unless the entire fire is contained in a fire pit.