Host of after-hours workplace party slapped with $2,300 COVID fine

$2,300 fine for work party

A West Vancouver man has been fined $2,300 for hosting a loud get together in his place of business after hours, contrary to COVID-19 laws restricting all gatherings.

West Vancouver police responded to a complaint of loud music and voices coming from the business about 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 8.

When officers arrived, they found three men – at least two of them significantly intoxicated – standing outside the premises, says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy. “It ultimately led to them being quite belligerent.”

When questioned by police “they were quick to say it wasn’t a party,” said Goodmurphy.

However the door of the office was propped open and officers could hear voices of other people inside.

One of the men outside told police the other two were his clients, but refused to provide any other information, including how many people were still inside.

Goodmurphy added officers thought it unlikely any legitimate business was taking place inside given “it was almost midnight,” the level of drunkenness apparent and reports of loud music being played.

The 40-year-old host of the get-together, a man associated with the business, refused to co-operate with police, said Goodmurphy, telling officers they couldn’t enter the premises and refusing to tell his guests to leave.

He was issued a $2,300 fine and soon after decided to leave the vicinity without shutting down his event.

Goodmurphy said the authority of police to enter private businesses and residences under the new COVID-19 laws wasn’t clear so officers opted to wait in the vicinity until guests left of their own accord. One group of people left at about 12:30 and a further two people left at around 2:45 a.m., said Goodmurphy.

Around the province, in the last six months, 574 violation tickets have been issued in B.C. for contraventions of COVID-related public health orders.

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