ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Bernalillo County officials are working on making it illegal to hold raves unless the host has passed a background check and the location was inspected for safety hazards.
Deputy County Manger Tom Swisstack said the county is writing up a new ordinance that would regulate the underage parties that are typically plagued with safety violations.
Swisstack said the host would have to fill out an application to hold the rave. The application would allow and give authorities the right to inspect the location and stop by during the event.
Recent rave busts have led police to hundreds of scantly clad tends crammed into warehouses and even small studios. Deputies and officers have found signs that kids were drinking at some of those raves. At a rave bust in February, six people were arrested for selling drugs.
District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said one of her biggest concern is the unsafe party locations.
"I think it really is putting the youth in our community at risk," Brandenburg said. ""In one case they went in and did not have fire extinguishers; smoke detectors not working and doors that were chained where people could not exit if there were a fire."
The new ordinance would help regulate where the parties are being held. Another part of the application process would include a background check of the host.
Swisstack said people with felony convictions, like drug charges an sex offenses, on their record for the past 10 years will not be allowed to the hold the event. He said this would limit who could host the underage parties. "First of all if you are a sex offender," Swisstack said.
City and county officials said they typically don't find out until after the raves are raided who the party promoters are. Police have said some are convicted felons, like Chris Myers.
Myers is on probation for dealing drugs and he when he was 15 he was charged with a sex offense. The city has raided two of Myers' raves in the past few months.
If the new ordinance passes Myers would not be granted a permit and if he did hold the event anyway that would be against the law.
"It's illegal and the D.A. can decide to prosecute at that point," Swisstack said.
The county plans to introduce the new ordinance in April. It's up to commissioners to pass it into law.
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