Drawing a line in the sand | Beach alcohol ban divides residents, U- T poll indicates

July 22, 2001 No Comments

For chart see microfilm.

San Diego residents are almost evenly split on a round-the-clock ban on drinking alcohol in parts of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, a Union-Tribune poll shows.

Of 400 San Diego residents randomly selected for a telephone survey, 42.8 percent said they support the ban and 49 percent said they are opposed to it. Eight percent said they are undecided. Very few, 0.3 percent, said they were unaware of the issue.

With the undecided responses and a 4.9 percent margin of error, the supporting and opposing forces are practically a draw.

Tomorrow, the San Diego City Council will reconsider the trial ban, which it approved in April.

The survey, conducted July 13-15 for the Union-Tribune by the locally based Directions in Research, shows a clear difference between younger and older residents. Fifty-seven percent of the 18- to-34 age group oppose the ban, while 46.9 percent of the 35-plus age group support it.

The City Council likely will hear from both sides tomorrow when it formally receives the 51,729 petition signatures protesting a round- the-clock ban.

The trial ban, which seeks to expand the current partial ban — 8 p.m. to noon — at Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, was to have become effective for 18 months starting June 1. It was suspended by the petitions. Although council members have 10 days to decide what to do, some said they prefer to resolve the matter tomorrow when they meet at 2 p.m. They have two choices: Rescind the round-the-clock trial ban. Let voters decide in a referendum, at a cost of $150,000 to $180,000. It would most likely be part of the March 5, 2002, primary ballot, according to the city clerk.

Split emerges

Since the petition drive, the 5-3 council bloc that passed the trial ban has splintered.

Councilman Byron Wear, author of the ban and now the target of a recall movement, said he prefers a referendum. However, he is concerned about spending so much money to ask voters about a trial ban that, if passed, would only be in effect for about eight months.

Other council members who voted for the ban — Mayor Dick Murphy, Scott Peters and Toni Atkins — said they want to listen to public testimony before deciding. Deputy Mayor George Stevens said he firmly supports the trial ban. ”

Of the original three councilmen opposing the ban, Jim Madaffer is undecided, Brian Maienschein prefers a referendum and Ralph Inzunza said he is inclined to rescind the ordinance.

Donna Frye, elected to the City Council after the ordinance was passed and whose district includes part of Pacific Beach, said she wants to conferences at Mission Beach to make last-minute pitches about the ban. While opponents said it infringes on the rights of individuals who drink responsibly, supporters said banning drinking promotes safe beaches and removes temptation for teen-agers.

Chad Jacques, 24, who just left the Navy, where he was an operations specialist, said responsible drinkers should be allowed to enjoy alcohol.

Hanging out at Mission Beach on Thursday, sharing 38 beers kept cold on ice with his two friends, Jacques said he and his pals pick up their trash and get rides home ask or sleep off the booze in their cars or a hotel if they get too tipsy.

“We don’t make much money. We can’t afford bars,” said Jacques, a Chula Vista resident. “A beer in hand is added enjoyment at the beach. It’s our God-given right. It’s youth — we’re still trying to be young.”

Steve Garza, 25, a barber who lives in Tijuana, was also enjoying the afternoon at Mission Beach with his friends. He said he can stay home and drink in his back yard, “but I can’t meet girls like I can here.”

One finding

Nearly 81 percent of people responding to the Union-Tribune poll said they had not had negative experiences because of someone drinking alcohol at the beach. However, residents who live near the beaches complain that drunkards urinate and defecate on their lawns and keep them awake into the morning with their rowdiness.

Don Mullen, spokesman for the San Diego Community Task Force-Ban the Ban II, said opponents do not want the city financing a referendum. They simply want the trial ban repealed for good. Mullen said that the City Council rescinded a similar trial ban 10 years ago and that it can do so again. He added that the town councils of Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach have requested a repeal.

Mullen urged the City Council to form a task force, including beach community residents, to find solutions to alcohol-related problems. His group has recommended doubling fines for alcohol- related offenses, setting up community courts for swift handling of minor alcohol infractions, and assigning more police officers to beach patrol during the summer.

Supporters of the ban, however, want it on the ballot. “We are confident it will pass. The majority of San Diego feels the same way we do,” said Judy Walsh-Jackson, associate director for the San Diego County Policy Panel on Youth Access to Alcohol, a coalition of 150 individuals and organizations.

Cleo Wright, watching the sunset at Mission Beach on Thursday, said she is all for the ban.

“They cause disturbances at my house — noise, walking up and down the sidewalks and keeping us awake all night,” she said.

Philip Sharp, an 18-year resident of south Mission Beach, favors a ban and a referendum.

“Those who opposed the (trial) ban argued that the council should not decide it themselves, but put it before the public,” Sharp said, noting they have now changed their minds. “That, to me, is being very hypocritical.”

Sharp also said he has heard that the liquor industry spent money to collect the petition signatures.

A denial

Mullen, however, said liquor distributors and manufacturers did not finance the petition campaign, which he said cost about $55,000. He said beer wholesalers contributed $10,000 at the most, and about $20,000 was donated by hotels, markets and restaurants.

Individuals, too, gave money ranging from $5 to $1,000, he said. Mullen said his group is still trying to raise $25,000 more to cover its petition campaign bills.

Ban the Ban II campaign consultant Bob Glaser, who owns The La Jolla Group, a political consulting firm that has handled many local campaigns, declined to reveal details of the campaign’s finances. He said a full disclosure will be filed by July 30, the deadline according to city law.

Glaser was a consultant to the 1991 campaign that forced the repeal of a 24-hour alcohol ban on city beaches and in parks. That ban later was modified to pertain to only certain beaches; drinking hours were restricted on others.

North Pacific Beach resident Ann White supports a ban and wants it extended through her neighborhood. The trial ban under discussion stops at Felspar Street, near Crystal Pier.

“Beachgoers return to their cars acting as if they are at a tailgate party at Qualcomm Stadium (particularly so from midnight to 4 a.m.),” White said.

In addition to many beach residents, San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano stands behind the trial ban. He said his department already is devoting 50 to 60 officers a day — about one-fifth of the daily police force patrolling the city — to Mission Beach and Pacific Beach during summer months.

“The majority of the calls for service and arrests and problems at the beach are related to abuse of alcohol,” he said.

According to police statistics, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach led the city’s neighborhoods in alcohol arrests and citations between 1998 and 2000. Those include driving under the influence and drinking in banned areas.

Mission Beach reported 10,374 such crimes in those three years, accounting for 20 percent of the city’s total. Pacific Beach followed with 7,019, or 13.4 percent of the citywide number. Ocean Beach reported 2,322 alcohol-related crimes, or 4.4 percent of the city’s total. The latest police statistics comparing the July 4 weekends of this year and last showed that most alcohol violations in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach fell markedly this year, with the reductions ranging from 40 percent to 100 percent. However, the number of arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol increased 44 percent.

Police theory

Capt. Cliff Resch, who heads the Northern Division, said infractions such as drunken behavior, minors in possession of alcohol and drinking in banned areas fell because of heightened policing and public education about the ill effects of excessive drinking.

Current fines for violating the law range from $50 to $1,300 in San Diego and Coronado, depending on the seriousness of the offense.

In La Jolla, where alcohol has been banned at La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove and Marine Street Beach since 1991, the alcohol-related crime rate has been much lower in the three-year period between 1998 and 2000 than in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. During that time, La Jolla recorded 978 arrests and citations for alcohol-related crime, representing 1.9 percent of the city’s total.

The city’s alcohol laws have evolved over the years with changing demands. Between 1977 and 2001, the city’s municipal code changed 18 times to regulate alcohol consumption. Changes included prohibitions on where and when alcohol can be consumed, Deputy City Attorney Theresa McAteer said.

San Diego is one of a handful of California cities, including San Francisco, Monterey and Half Moon Bay, that still allow drinking on their beaches, San Diego police research shows.

Local beaches that allow alcohol — besides Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach — include Del Mar beaches and Silver Strand and Torrey Pines state beaches.

Credit: STAFF WRITER

Uncategorized

Leave a Reply


Advisory: Hot Prowl Burglary in PB (aka Man Standing in Sleeping Woman’s Bedroom)

The San Diego Police Department Sex Crimes Unit is currently investigating a hot prowl burglary that occurred near the...

Holiday Week Checkpoints

The Friday, July 5, DUI checkpoint was conducted in the 2600 block of Ingraham Street, and was operational from...

Alcohol Industry Playbook – Confidential

Here’s a handbook illustrating the strategies some bar and restaurant owners use to deflect attention away from their businesses....

Pacific Beach Shore Club Deck Expansion

I want to encourage good businesses in Pacific Beach but, feel like the lack of state and local oversight...

34 Arrested Across 2 DUI Checkpoints

The San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Probation Department conducted two DUI checkpoints Saturday night that...

Yet Another Police Officer Injured in Drunk Driver Crash

SAN DIEGO – A suspected drunken driver was arrested early Tuesday after he plowed through a stop sign and...

UPDATE: Bad (horrible) day in Pacific Beach – man seriously injured by alleged DUI driver dies

At 9:45 am in Pacific Beach at the busiest intersection in San Diego was nearly entirely closed down for...

5 injured in car accident in Pacific Beach this morning – Possible DUI

Five people are injured after a black Nissan Titan ran a red light in Pacific Beach at around 9:45...

Priest arrested on suspicion of DUI after driving car into building

Ed. Note: My intent is to not be publicly shaming anyone. I wouldn’t normally post this if the fact...

Current Situation and Proposal

This site illustrates problems in a neighborhood of alcohol outlets that are highly concentrated – Pacific Beach. For our...

San Diego police say an overnight DUI checkpoint in Pacific Beach nets 12 arrests

612 vehicles passed through checkpoint An overnight sobriety and driver license checkpoint in Pacific Beach netted 12 arrests for...

Car Crashes into PB Home

Mercedes rammed nearly halfway through the house A suspected drunk driver lost control and crashed into a home in...

DUI checkpoints planned over holiday weekend

The San Diego Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting DUI and drivers license checkpoints at undisclosed locations within...

Pedestrians injured in drunk driving hit-and-run

A man is seriously injured after being hit by a drunk driver in Pacific Beach overnight. A man and...

Bullocks – PB’s Newest Billboard – ~1,100 Sq. Ft.?

Bullocks to this. It looks like the former Jack Daniels billboard, which took over about 1,100 sq. ft. of...

Man jailed after ramming police car in Pacific Beach

A man landed in jail Sunday hours after San Diego police say he beat and choked his girlfriend in...

Garnet Avenue DUI checkpoint nets (14) arrests

San Diego Police officers arrested 14 suspected drunken drivers and impounded 15 cars last night during a DUI Checkpoint...

SDPD Weekend DUI Checkpoints Net 34 Arrests (16 in PB), 37 Impounds

The San Diego Police Department Traffic Division conducted DUI checkpoints on Friday September 7, 2012, and on Saturday, September...

SDPD Labor Day Weekend DUI Checkpoints Net 28 DUI Arrests

The San Diego Police Department conducted three DUI checkpoints during the Labor Day Holiday weekend. The checkpoints were made...

Suspected drunk driver runs over friend

A suspected drunk driver is behind bars after hitting a woman while backing out of a parking space in...

16 Arrested at Pacific Beach DUI Checkpoint

San Diego police in Pacific Beach arrested 16 people on suspicion of drunken driving and impounded 17 vehicles during...

Pacific Beach Checkpoint Nets 6 Arrests

Six people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at an overnight checkpoint...

Pacific Beach DUI Checkpoint Nets 16 Arrests, 17 Vehicles Impounded

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego police arrested 16 drivers on suspicion of drunken driving and impounded 17 vehicles...

Woman Injured In Hit-And-Run In Pacific Beach

Woman Was Crossing Street At Grand Avenue, Cass Street PACIFIC BEACH, Calif. — A woman was rushed to the...

Suspected DUI crash shuts down Ingraham in PB

View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com. Source: NBCSanDiego.com View a slideshow from 10News San Diego. UT San Diego Report on...

Jack Daniels Gets in on the Action

One issue with all the alcohol problems we experience is we draw even more marketers of alcohol products. Just...

Police Searching For Hit-And-Run Driver In PB Crash

SAN DIEGO — Police on Tuesday are searching for a hit-and-run driver who hit at least two vehicles in...

(DUI Crash) Driver ordered to pay friend’s medical costs

Driver ordered to pay friend’s medical costs A judge ordered a drunken driver to pay more than $7,500 in...

San Diego police arrest 9 DUI suspects during St. Patty’s Day checkpoints

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego police officers arrested nine suspected drunken drivers at a downtown checkpoint and extra...

Suspected DUI driver runs over woman lying in Hillcrest alley

A suspected drunken driver allegedly ran over a 27-year-old woman who was lying in a Hillcrest alley early Saturday,...

Woman Found Unconscious In PB May Have Been (Sexually) Assaulted

22-Year-Old Found Drunk, Partially Nude In Alley A 22-year-old woman found drunk, unconscious and partially nude in a Pacific...

Coronado Residents Concerned Over Alcohol Permits – San Diego News Story – KGTV San Diego

Some longtime Coronado residents are concerned that their town could soon mimic the bar scene in Pacific Beach or...

PB Shore Club wins Expansion bid

The Pacific Beach Shore Club was approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to expand their premises onto a...

Rally, walk targets Proliferation of alcohol permits in PB

Concerned citizens walk past Crystal Pier on Jan. 27 on their way up Garnet Avenue to get their message...

Judgment Finalized In Legal Battle Over Golden Hill MAD

The judgment is final. Now, a group of residents in Golden Hill and South Park — who have spent...

Charger sued in 2009 bottle incident

A man has filed a lawsuit against San Diego Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips alleging the player broke a Champagne...

Man Seriously Hurt In Pacific Beach Hit-And-Run

Man Had Just Got Out Of Taxi, Hit By Toyota Yaris, Police Say SAN DIEGO — A 28-year-old man...

Shots Reportedly Fired In Pacific Beach

Shots Reported Fired In 1800 Block Of Hornblend Street POSTED: 7:38 am PST January 19, 2012 SAN DIEGO —...

US ‘drunk driver’ swims off to escape arrest

This is an update of the story below. This story also made international news agencies also shown below. SAN...

Drunk in PB at 2AM? Cops in the Rear View Mirror? Ditch the Car, Disappear in the Ocean!

SAN DIEGO — Authorities searched for hours early Tuesday for a man suspected of drunken driving who ran away...

PB Resident Fights Bar’s Plans To Expand

See the video SAN DIEGO — A Pacific Beach resident told 10News on Tuesday he has proof that too...

3 Checkpoints Net 12 Drunken Driving Arrests

SAN DIEGO — Three checkpoints set up in Pacific Beach, Imperial Beach and Chula Vista overnight netted 12 suspected...

(DUI) Driver Crashes Into Fire Hydrant, Parked Car In PB (at 11am)

A suspected drunken driver was taken into custody Friday after crashing into a fire hydrant and a parked car...

Drunk man breaks into 81 Year Old PB woman’s home

An elderly woman in Pacific Beach woke up Friday morning to find a man in a Chargers jersey sleeping...

Pacific Beach Checkpoint Nets 12 Arrests

SAN DIEGO — San Diego police arrested a dozen people on suspicion of drunken driving and impounded nine vehicles...

Letter: San Diego’s Continuing Taxi Cab Scandal

This is a letter to the editor in response to the article by former Superior Court Judge Larry Sterling...

Another DUI Crash in PB

Early this morning an drunk driver crashed and most likely totaled a parked car on Grand Ave. at Mission...

Bike Police Catch 3 Armed Robbers in PB

Here’s a great story about police catching armed robbers utilizing their bicycle patrols. We’re trying to raise funds to...

KPBS Interview Community Leader, Businessman and ABC

This afternoon KPBS Radio featured a story on the PB Planning Group’s report on the alcohol licensing and CUP...

Officer Hurt After Car Crashes Into Police Car

...