Asshole Tax

Yesterday, the City Council passed a measure which will allow police to slap noisy nightlife patrons and troublemakers with hefty fines.

The City Council on Monday passed a measure designed to help police break up rowdy late night crowds outside Seattle’s bars, creating a civil infraction for “nighttime disturbances” such as making threats, too much noise and fighting.

The ordinance, which has the backing of bar and club owners, is part of a broader effort to reduce conflicts between drinking establishments and residents in more urban neighborhoods such as Belltown. Under the new law, police could write $100 tickets to people in “nighttime zones” like downtown and Belltown who get out of hand between midnight and 5 a.m. City Councilmembers called it the “meat-head” ordinance.

People could be fined for making unreasonable noise, threatening people and fighting.

“Whenever nightlife comes up, there is no one tool that covers everything,” said Councilwoman Sally Clark. “What we’re trying to do today is give one tool. It won’t address everything….we heard the frustration from the bar owners…we heard frustration from residents. And we’ve certainly heard from police.”