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Davis police report slight drop in Picnic Day arrests, citations

The number of arrests and citations issued in conjunction with UC Davis’ Picnic Day festivities this year appears to be down slightly from last year, Davis police said Monday.

Although reports of arrests and citations were still coming in from Saturday’s event, “this is a pretty good ballpark figure,” Lt. Tom Waltz said of figures released Monday afternoon.

From 4 p.m. Friday through 7 a.m. Sunday, preliminary figures show city police made 44 arrests – 36 of them on Saturday, which marked the 100th Picnic Day. Last year, police reported 42 arrests on Picnic Day.

In addition to the arrests by city police, university police arrested four people on campus Saturday – three accused of public intoxication and one of assault, said Andy Fell, a UC Davis spokesman. UC Davis police also issued five citations for possession of alcohol. In 2013, campus officials reported five arrests and 19 citations.

Of the 36 arrests by city police on Saturday, 27 were for alcohol-related offenses.

City police issued 56 citations Friday evening through Sunday evening, with 43 issued on Saturday. Nineteen citations during the weekend were issued for offenses committed within the safety enhancement zone, a section of the central city where fines are doubled for offenses such as public intoxication, public urination and smoking in designated nonsmoking areas.

City police officers responded to 40 calls for service over the weekend involving noise, parties and music.

Waltz said efforts to promote a more family-friendly atmosphere seem to have helped temper the rowdiness that had come to characterize Picnic Day a few years ago.

In recent years, local bars have agreed not to sell alcohol before 11 a.m., and student groups have worked to tone down off-campus celebrations.

“It looks like the alcohol covenants and the outreach to student groups and others have helped,” Waltz said.

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