TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson Police Chief, Chris Magnus warned of consequences for people who host large social gatherings while local and state emergency orders, including the Governor’s stay-at-home order, which was issued on Monday, March 30, are in place.
Not surprisingly, house parties are not listed as an “essential activity” in his order.
Activities other than those deemed essential are specifically prohibited (attendees not remaining in their own homes nor maintaining the prescribed distancing).
Attendees at such a party could be charged with violating A.R.S. §26-317, a class 1 misdemeanor. Noting that the department is ready to enforce social distancing using state statutes, the red tag ordinance, or possibly new ordinances with the help of the City Attorney, Mayor and Council.
“The worst consequence would be if you pass this virus on to someone who has a serious illness or dies as a result. That could be a family member, a friend, or someone you’ve never met," said Police Chief, Chris Magnus. "Although it’s especially dangerous for older people and people with certain underlying conditions, this coronavirus can have serious consequences for anyone, regardless of age or health. No matter who you are, you are not immune.”
Primarily, the police response to people who unknowingly violate emergency orders is to provide them with a warning and education on the importance of social distancing. However, scofflaws who clearly should know better will not receive the same consideration.