A “disorderly house” is a legal term of art in the state of California. Under the Business & Professions Code, premises licensed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that disturb the neighborhood or are maintained for purposes which are injurious to the public morals, health, convenience or safety, are considered a disorderly house. The licensed premises includes the parking lot.
This means any licensed outlet that disturbs the neighborhood with noise, loud music, loitering, littering, vandalism, urination or defecation by patrons, graffiti, etc., is considered a disorderly house. Similarly, a licensed premise that has many crimes ongoing inside, such as drunks, fights, assaults, prostitution, narcotics, etc., is considered a disorderly house.
Any licensee, as well as any employee of a licensee, who keeps or permits a disorderly house can be guilty of a misdemeanor. Furthermore, the premises license under the is subject to revocation, suspension, or further discipline. Thus, upon notice, a licensee must take reasonable steps to correct objectionable, nuisance conditions on or about the licensed premises and on abutting public sidewalks up to 20 feet from the premises. A licensee must correct the conditions within a reasonable period of time after receiving notice. The conditions include disturbance of the peace, public drunkenness, drinking in public, harassment of passersby, gambling, prostitution, loitering, public urination, lewd conduct, drug trafficking, or excessive loud noise.