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Alcohol Citations Drop at San Diego Beaches After Ban Imposed

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A beach alcohol ban imposed last year, along with an education campaign, has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of alcohol citations written by San Diego police, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Oct. 23.

Last year, San Diego police issued 3,438 citations in beach communities; this year they only issued 2,855 in those same communities, a 17-percent drop. The city also saw alcohol offenses by minors halved, and drunk-in-public arrests decrease by 7 percent. DUI arrests did rise by 8 percent, however.

The ban, which also affects waterfront parks, is scheduled to expire in January, but on Nov. 4 voters will weigh in on whether the one-year ban should be made permanent.

1 Response to this article

  1. Avatar of Jason
    Jason / August 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Although the imposed ban resulted in a decrease in alcohol citation written by SDPD, that does not necessarily translate into keeping people from consuming alcohol in beach areas where the ban was set in place. I live in Pacific Beach about 500 feet from the sand, and unfortunately one of the most noticeable changes this ban provoked was beach goers getting creative and learning to hide their alcoholic beverages in non-alcoholic beverage bottles/containers. Of course this was nothing more than my personal experience in observing the post-ban activity in PB and results may have differed in other beach communities, however judging by the high volume of people I saw bringing their alcohol to the beach in non-conspicuous containers and successfully remaining under the radar of law enforcement, I believe the ban had little impact on the number of people consuming alcohol on the beach. As mentioned above, data showed that DUI’s were up by 8% after the ban was imposed, which in my opinion is one indicator that people are drinking just as much as they were before the ban, on the beach or otherwise. I live on the beach in PB, and noticed nothing different while this ban was in place other than the above mentioned disguising of adult beverages. Clearly the intentions behind this ban were good, but it was poorly planned and executed not to mention difficult to enforce without having police go from person to person making sure their soda bottles actually had soda in them and not vodka. If DUI’s in San Diego saw an 8% increase, I think it is the best interest of the community to shift focus to that as it is a far more serious and dangerous issue.

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