200+ tickets issued during Operation Fallback this year

Nearly $100,000 in fines was handed out to students in September as part of “Operation Fallback.”

Nearly $100,000 in fines was handed out to students in September as part of “Operation Fallback.”
Operation Fallback is a police campaign that puts two police officers on full time duty around the Dalhousie and King’s neighborhood in September to reduce excessive noise, public intoxication, and property damage. Of the $97,734.17 in tickets handed out, it’s unknown how many are being fought, or if it’s been successful.
Sarah Toye received a noise ticket for a party she had on Sept. 21. She has to pay the $457.41 ticket to the city, or fight it in court.
Toye thinks she can fight it.
“I went and read the noise by-laws to make sure we were violating them, and we were,” she said.
Toye discovered it’s not mandatory for police to give a warning before a ticket, but she says it is customary. That luxury was not granted on the night of the party.
“I could probably fight it on precedence of not having a warning,” she said.
Toye’s situation could have been worse. Her ticket was issued to the house to split three ways. Some tickets are given separately to each person on the lease. Even in a two-person house, fines can get into the thousands very quickly.
Halifax Regional Police Public Information Officer Pierre Bourdages says fines can also be compounded by multiple offences.
“These fines can add up quite quickly. You have someone, let’s say an 18-year-old student from Ontario walking down the street intoxicated with an open beer. An open beer is $457.41, underage drinking is $457.41, and intoxicated is $123.91. In that specific case, the officer has the option to give over a thousand dollars in tickets, and keep him in booking for six hours,” he said.
As a result of 237 calls about disturbances in September, 41 people were given underage drinking tickets, 126 were charged with illegal possession of liquor, and 16 with public intoxication. Only 19 tickets were given for noise violations.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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