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Common Ordinances & Laws

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For questions about specific ordinances or frequently asked legal questions, see the City Attorney's page.
We are providing this information to assist you. Many residents of our city are from outside of Eau Claire, and may not be aware of city ordinances that may be unique to Eau Claire. It is our hope that by being made aware of a variety of ordinances, you can avoid being charged for violations.

The following is a list of the most common city ordinances the police department deals with. This list is not all inclusive. For a complete list of all ordinances, see Code of City Ordinances.

Accident, Duty to Report: Stat.#346.70

The operator of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person, any damage to state or other government-owned property, to an apparent extent of $200 or more, or total damage to property owned by any one person, or to a state or other government-owned vehicle to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more shall immediately notify the Police Department of such accident.

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Alcohol Violations:
Wisconsin law states a person must have attained the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages.

No person under 21 may enter a tavern unless accompanied by a parent / guardian.

No person may hold an identification card which does not accurately portray the identity of that person.

Underage Possession / Consumption (12-16 yrs) Ordinance #9.84.050/125.07(4)(b)
Underage Possession / Consumption (17-20 yrs) Ordinance #5.28.010/125.07(4)(b)
Seller's Permit Required Ordinance #5.28.010/125.04(1)
Furnishing to Underage Person Ordinance #5.28.010/125.07(1)a(1)
Adult Permitting Underage Possession Ordinance #5.28.010/125.07(1)a(3)
Adult Contributing to Underage Possession Ordinance #5.28.010/125.07(1)a(4)
Open Containers (city streets, sidewalks) Ordinance #9.52.030

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Curfew Violations for Minors: Ordinance #9.84.010

No minor under the age of 17 years old shall be or remain in or upon any of the streets, alleys, other public places, or any private place held open to the public in the city between the hours of 12 o'clock midnight and 5:00am, unless accompanied by their parent/guardian.

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Garbage Containers: Ordinance #8.32.170

Garbage and recyclable containers may be placed on the boulevard the night before scheduled pickup, but must be removed within 24 hours after pickup.

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Graffiti: Ordinance #9.65

Property owners are required to report graffiti to the police department within 72 hours of discovery.

Property owners are required to remove or repair graffiti in a timely manner.

Tips for repairing graffiti damage are included on the Graffiti Removal Brochure.

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Improper Storage of Furniture: Ordinance #8.32.235

No person shall place and allow to remain exposed to the elements, any chair, sofa, bed, table, or other related or similar furniture which is not designed and intended to be used exclusively outdoors.

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Inoperable Vehicles: Ordinance #8.36

No person shall leave/keep any non-operating or non-licensed motor vehicles on private property in view of the public.

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Keys Left in Vehicles: Ordinance #10.40.020

To reduce vehicle theft, it is illegal to leave a key in a vehicle that is parked on any public street, alley, or any other public place.

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Noise Complaints / Parties:

Many of our neighborhood residents celebrate on the weekends after long weeks at work or school. When entertaining guests, a few things should be remembered.

City ordinance prohibits "any noise tending to unreasonably disturb the peace and quiet of the persons in the vicinity thereof." There are no time restrictions in the ordinance.

The occupant/owner of a residence is responsible for any violations taking place upon the premises.

The landlord/owner can also be held responsible for violations occurring on the property. Landlords/owners are promptly notified of problems occurring on their property.

Disorderly Conduct Ordinance #9.56.010
Disorderly Conduct - Noise Ordinance #9.56.070
Disorderly Conduct - Loud Party Ordinance #9.56.075
Aiding / Abetting Ordinance Violation Ordinance #1.16.020
Responsibility of Owner / Occupant (loud party) Ordinance #9.56.090
Failure to Disperse Ordinance #9.56.075(b)

There may be times that the occupant(s) decides not to cooperate with police or speak with police when a violation occurs. Enforcement action would then be taken at a future time, and could involve action taken with all occupants of the particular residence (even if not present during the time of violation).

Enforcement action taken is at the discretion of the responding officer(s).

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  • 24 hour parking limits are enforced on all city streets.
  • Crosswalks and sidewalks must be unobstructed by parking vehicles.
  • Parking is prohibited on unimproved surfaces (lawns, boulevards, etc.).
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Special Events:

The Parks & Recreation Department can be called at 839-5032 regarding any special event except for neighborhood block parties. Block party permits can be obtained by contacting the Police Department Patrol Division at 839-6060.

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Streets and Sidewalks:

  • Cleaning of snow and ice required. Sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours after snowfall.
  • Ordinance #13.20.010
  • Yards required to be mowed. Lawns must not exceed 7" in height, including the boulevard
  • Ordinance #8.28.100
  • Skateboards, roller skates/skis/blades, or similar equipment are unlawful to be used on any :
    • City Street Within a Business District
    • Sidewalk Within a Business District
    • Public Parking Ramp/Lot
    • Private Property Without Permission from Owner
Ordinance #13.12.025

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