Outline on Beach Holiday Alcohol
George R. Najjar
Beach residents and visitors continue to suffer significant negative impacts due to the large number of over–inebriated, and sometimes underage, drinkers at city beaches on the 4th of July. In addition to the public health and safety issues involved, the annual costs to the city for preparation, clean up and police presence continue to mount. The Mission Beach Town Council, Pacific Beach Town Council, Pacific Beach Planning Committee and numerous neighborhood associations have voted to support an ordinance that would restrict alcohol consumption on city beaches for an additional 8 hours on the 4th of July – thus making it an alcohol–free day. Do you support such an ordinance? Why or why not?
I live on the beach. I see people drink responsibly year round, including the fourth. I also see year round people lighting furniture bonfires on the beach. But the large majority of people are law abiding, even on the 4th.
I generally do not support ordinances which restrict otherwise legal conduct. I do not believe an alcohol ban will in any significant way change PB on the 4th of July. All the beach ban will do is drive people into the bars, thereby raising bar revenues. And, in 2002 the voters through Proposition G spoke on the beach alcohol issue. Although it was close, I defer to the voters.
I believe the PB Block Party is a bigger problem and must be shut down immediately. I don’t know anyone in Pacific Beach who goes to the block party ... many of us leave town that day. What started as an honest block party has mutated into the largest, most unnecessary bacchanalian in the city’s history, and it only makes money for the bars.
We need to end the PB Block party now, and before we start restricting otherwise legal conduct.