Summary of Union Tribune beach-alcohol articles 1990-2007

October 8, 2010 No Comments

To help put beach alcohol-issues today in perspective of our recent history here’s a summary of events from 1990-2007 that were featured in the San Diego Union Tribune. All of these stories are on this website so please use our calendar drop-down in the right column to select the stated month to find the actual piece.

DateSan Diego Union Tribune story summary
1/9/90City Council rejects alcohol ban proposed by council committee. [The mayor chastised the committee for unnecessarily causing panic in the city with its talk of a booze ban, and City Councilman Wes Pratt called the committee’s original action a ‘travesty’.]
4/26/90Council committee suggests alternative: a test ban in La Jolla Shores
6/19/906-month trial at La Jolla Shores, Kellogg Park and North Park Community Park approved as trial sites for beaches and parks alcohol bans
8/2/90Trial begins = La Jolla Shores easy test area, can patrol with 2 police officers
11/15/90Impressed with results City Council recommends complete ban from MB Jetty to North SD beaches. Terri Williams, Parks and Rec dept. says there was no noticeable increase in drinking problems at other beaches once LJ Shores ban went into effect
1/2/91City Manager Lockwood asks for wide-ranging ban on all city beaches, shoreline parks and several inland parks
1/10/01City Council approves 1 year trial ban. Opponents claim laws already on books but, too few officers to enforce laws
2/1/91LJ Shore trial about to expire. New group People to Ban the Ban (PBB) formed
2/21/9110,000 signatures claimed and presented by People to Ban the Ban
2/26/91City Council votes to prohibit alcohol (7-0) to begin 4/17/91
3/20/91PBB launches petition drive
4/17/91Alcohol-free ordinance starts today, 40,000 signatures presented, ordinance suspended after only up for few hours
5/10/91Beer dealers paid for petition drive (distributors/stores). La Jolla Group (Bob Glaser) paid $28,000. PBB spent all-told $40,652 and left in debt.
5/14/91City Council votes to rescind ban ordinance rather than put on ballot (cites cost)
5/23/91Police to begin videotaping beach drunks at City Council direction
6/7/912 stabbed to death, another shot to death at Bonita Cove (MB Park), a 17 year old girl killed in another MB park
6/10/91Beach crime problem stressed in 2 reports issued by City Manager McGrory and Police Chief Stamper. Proposed 8pm – 8am alcohol ban on walkways and some parks. 16 member SDPD Beach Patrol starts earlier than usual, in early May.
6/11/91Emergency booze ban (8pm – 8am, no seawall, boardwalk drinking) enacted. Parking lots to close/lock at 10pm. City officials and police say alcohol involved in 80% of beach crimes
6/12/91Police use beach video tapes to support emergency ban and for training.
6/20/91Police say 90% of beach tickets are alcohol/drug related.
7/2/91City Council votes unanimously to put 24-hour ban on 6/2/92 ballot.
9/9/91City Council item 54: adds several parks to alcohol-ban 56.54 ordinance (see article)
9/10/91Councilmember Ron Roberts says crime stats (around Bahia Hotel and MB parking lots where previous deaths occurred) dramatically down after enactment of emergency ban. 56% drop and 87% drop in arrests. DUI arrests dropped to 4 from 35 (89% decrease)
11/14/91Emergency ban stats results from 17 week period ending 10/17:
36% reduction in robbery, assault and other crimes in Mission Beach
La Jolla Shores 80% decrease in crime, 47% arrests decrease
Decreases in burglary, car theft and other property crimes from a low of 8% in OB to 36% in South MB.
After-hours closing of MB parking lots resulted in 55% drop during four month period beginning 6/1
2/11/91Emergency measures working. City Council removes ban issue from 6/92 ballot.
11/24/92City Council adds many parks to ban (see article for list)
3/15/93City Council adds La Jolla “Clam”, modifys Balboa Park to 9pm-9am ban and clarifies other elements of ban
3/29/93City Council adds seawalls, boardwalk, parking lots to 56.54 alcohol-ban ordinance
5/30/94“We have to be strict or we’ll lose (control)” says Johnson [SDPD] “alcohol is our biggest enemy.”
7/3/9460 SDPD officers required for beaches on 4th of July
8/11/94Encinitas bans alcohol on several beaches effective 9/9/94
9/12/94City Council adds several areas to 56.54 alcohol-ban ordinance.
10/31/94City Council adds 10 Clairemont Parks to 56.54 alcohol-ban ordinance
7/20/9590-day 24 hour ban proposed to City Council. Turned down by City Council.
7/24/95“Two bystanders were wounded by gunfire last Sunday as police chased two men who had been shooting at each other. A crowd estimated to be in the hundreds became agitated because of a rumor that police gunfire had wounded the pair. Police said the bystander was not shot by officers.”
8/1/95City Council tightens alcohol rules – no drinking on city streets, sidewalks and other public ‘rights-of-way’. [Also installs anti-cruising law for people cruising Mission Blvd. too much.[
9/10/95Imperial Beach bans alcohol on beach
9/14/95[Summary of current laws effective at this time]
Drinking alcoholic beverages is banned 24 hours a day at the following locations:
1. At La Jolla Shores beach and Kellogg Park.
2. Along all turf areas and boardwalks in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach.
3. Along all public rights-of-way west of Mission Boulevard, from Loring Street to the South Mission Beach Jetty.
4. At all public parking lots on the oceanfront, from Torrey Pines City Beach to Sunset Cliffs, and at all Mission Bay Park public parking lots.
5. At Santa Clara Point in Mission Bay Park.

Drinking is allowed only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the following areas:
1. On all oceanfront sand beaches (except La Jolla Shores) from Torrey Pines City Beach to Sunset Cliffs beaches.
2. On Mission Bay Park walkways and playgrounds north of the South Mission Beach jetty, excluding leaseholds.
3. At oceanfront parks, walkways and bluff areas north of the South Mission Beach Jetty to Torrey Pines City Beach.
4. At oceanfront parks, walkways and bluff areas south of the South Mission Bay jetty to Sunset Cliffs Park.
5. On the Ocean Beach Pier.

Drinking is allowed anytime on all Mission Bay waterways.
9/18/95Emergency call box added at Marine St. beach. La Jolla Town Council requests Marine St. to be added to alcohol ban
10/6/95Imperial Beach City Council approves beach ban
2/20/96City Council adds several parks to 56.54 alcohol-ban ordinance
6/18/98Council committee (PS&NS) requests 8pm to Noon ban
7/27/98City Council amends 56.54 alcohol-ban ordinance to restrict drinking from 8pm – noon (enacted 9/8/98)
12/19/98Woman sentenced to 1 year in jail injuring Officer Toneck. [he was investigating an accident at about 1:30 am when he was hit – lost lower leg due to accident. Woman was drinking at beach, then PB bars and didn’t have any idea she was too drunk]
4/23/99SDPD deployed in beach communities earlier than usual (starting 4/24/99)
12/19/00MBTC votes for alcohol ban (their community accounts for 22% of alcohol crimes)
1/10/01City Council approves 1 year trial ban. Opponents claim laws already on books but, too few officers to enforce laws
1/23/01Alcohol consumption laws to date changed 15 times in last 27 years. Beach communities account for 40% of city’s alcohol citations.
2/20/01PB/OB will vote on alcohol issue soon.
1999 Crime stats
Mission Beach 3,830 arrests with 137 DUI arrests
Pacific Beach 2,363 arrests with 342 DUI arrests (leading city)
Ocean Beach 768 arrests with 86 DUI’s
2/22/01PBTC rejects booze ban
Past three years crime stats:
Mission Beach 10,374 arrests and cites
Pacific Beach 7.019 arrests and cites
Ocean Beach 2,322 arrests and cites
3/1/1054 y.o. male gets stabbed by transient on beach
3/15/01MBTC reverses vote on alcohol ban (87/89 majority against)
4/5/01City Council PS&NS committee kills trial 1.5 year ban.
4/18/01City Council approves trial 1.5 year ban. California Independent Grocers & Convenience Stores association says “it’s pretty sad”.
4/30/01City Council enacts ordinance for 1.5 year 24-hour, year-round trial ban of alcohol on beaches
5/13/01Councilmember Byron Wear says SDPD spends $1.5 million a year patrolling Mission Beach’s 1 mile stretch each year.
6/3/01SDPD Asst. Chief Scanlon questions arguments for greater enforcement of existing laws. When alcohol removed from La Jolla Shores and inland parks “law enforcement problems at those locations decreased significantly.”
6/26/01Ban the Ban II group is organized to fight ban. Madaffer supports referendum.
7/22/01SDPD Chief Bejarano allocated 50-60 officers (about 20% of entire SD force) a day to MB and PB in summer months. “The majority of calls for service and arrests and problems at the beach are related to the abuse of alcohol.” (Bejarano).
4th of July crimes reduced 40-100% from comparing fourth of this year (2001) to last (2000). DUI’s increased 44%
7/24/01City Council (8-1 Stevens against on principle [he thought a ban was necessary and a vote was not]) to let voters decide on 3/2002 election
8/8/01On a dare a 19 y.o. Marine jumps on a bike cop’s back while he was pedaling down boardwalk.
8/12/01Balloting on beach ban affects North County communities – has high concentration of voters – likely both sides will go up and setup tables outside stores etc. to woo voters.
8/12/012/3 of money raised by Ban the Ban II came from top three distributors (see article for details). Petitioners paid $.75/signature.
8/18/01Del Mar had 1,500 person brawl on 7/4/01 – arrested 12
8/21/01Del Mar considers 4th July ban
9/16/01SDPD/SDSU’s Marian Novak propose ‘Sober Center’ to let drunks sleep it off at beach location – easier than taking downtown to detox.
10/28/01Karl Jaedtke says “people come here to enjoy themselves and do things they can’t do at home”.
11/6/01Del Mar Asst. City Manager – [didn’t want to put set dates for the 4th of July ban – allowing the city to set the period of rest each year on their own depending on current conditions]. Costs for enforcement estimated by Sheriff to be double from previous year to $21,000.
11/23/0179% of new money to defeat ban (or $19,020) came from liquor stores or interest-free loans to help pay off old debt and help upcoming referendum.
1/23/02Prop G vote coming soon. Supporters/opponents plan to kick off PR campaigns at end of month. Pro-ban statement signed by Juvenile Court judge, SDPD union and MADD. Anti-ban includes OB/MB/PB town councils. OB past president Gawronski: “nobody asked us how we felt about (being left out of the ban area). That’s why we’re so opposed to it.” Opponents raised $77,896 to date (plus undisclosed amount) and proponents raised $7,000. “If approved the trial ban will be effective until the end of the year. And when it expires, the City Council must act to put another ban in place if it wants to”
3/4/02Vote tomorrow. Sacramento-based California Beer and Beverage Distributors donated to anti-ban campaign. Opponents may be penalized for filing contribution disclosures late.
3/6/02Vote tally not in yet. Opponents raised at least $22,150 from alcohol-related businesses outside and in the beach communities. They also received $77,896 to conduct last year’s petition campaign. Pro-ban folks “ran a quiet campaign” with $8,701.
3/7/02Still no results. Looking at absentee votes in beginning opponents were up 10%.
3/8/02Facing defeat, Bob Glaser states “Voters realized the proponents were playing with statistics and that it was not really a public-safety issue. And with the small problem that does exist, we don’t need to lose our freedom. Police and the City Council need to do their job to clean it up.”
6/28/02Del Mar recalling last July 4th: A fight broke out on the 26th St. beach that day and deputies had to force their way through a crowd of 1,500 to reinforce comrades with their backs to the ocean to pull out three people arrested in the brawl.
Sheriff’s Dept to double deputies to 30 this year.
A brawl broke out in 1998 as well.
The people who pose the problem aren’t coming from Del Mar
City hired private security to do traffic control so it could focus on law enforcement.
7/27/023rd shooting in week rattles MB (opinion piece)
4/20/03Hiring freeze at SDPD
Several stricter alcohol-related rules proposed to Councilmember Zucchet
5/1/03City Council PS&NS proposes July 4th keg ban
Sail Bay experienced “near-riot” last year
5/21/03City Council approves keg ban
6/18/03Del Mar – additional officers on duty to enforce ban
8/4/03Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) does sweep on beaches for underage drinkers. First time in four years the ABC has conducted alcohol sweeps on beach. 6 hours into sweep 10 citations issued, 5 for underage, 3 drinking in prohibited areas, 1 for furnishing to minor and 1 for possession of marijuana. One guy arrested for selling beer without a license (brought a keg to beach).
10/16/03SDPD Capt. Moratto of Northern Division would like round-the-clock beach ban on three major holidays. “During those times, when so many people are crowded into such a confined area and are drinking, we may end up with a riotous situation. We have to do something or we’re going to lose it as far as crowd control.”
Keg ban didn’t help, people just brought more cans.
July 5 city workers removed 25 tons of trash from Sail Bay
1/18/04SDUT Opinion: According to SDPD people partying on Mission Bay and the beach areas jumped from 300k on 7/4/02 to 750k on 7/4/03. Cops were overwhelmed even with 3 times normal weekend force. There weren’t many arrests as they focused on preventing outbreak of violence. Councilmember Zucchet acknowledges that Sail Bay on 7/4 is a “riot waiting to happen”.
3/15/04Sail Bay Association asks for July 4th ban. FreePB.org organized and launches website. Zucchet suggests more police presence, using police volunteers to monitor fire rings, littering, traffic and parking, increase fines, ask Park and Rec. to install more bathrooms and trash cans. Zucchet also announces Lifeguards will work until 10pm in the hopes that their presence will deter illegal activities.
4/29/04In a SDUT correction FreePB President Leon says they want police to provide statistics to show regulations are needed.
City Council adds fire ring ban from midnight to 6am, no household furniture and ban of placement of private barriers to cordon off areas. SDPD Chief Lansdowne reports city picked up 100 tons trash after last year’s July 4th. This year he’ll have 329 patrol and horseback officers, 46 sergeants and 104 traffic controllers. Additions will cost $285,724. 750k people expected.
6/21/04City Council ordinance adds Fanuel Park (and other parks – see article for full list) in Pacific Beach to 56.54 alcohol-ban ordinance
7/2/04Del Mar – alcohol prohibited on all public property for 4th of July weekend from 6pm today through 6pm Monday
7/3/04City is doubling the number of portable restrooms and dumpsters. In Sail Bay restroom trailers will be installed due to overflowing portable restrooms.
7/6/04July 5th volunteers and city workers pick up 100 tons trash from more than 500k visitors. “many of the volunteers and tourists were appalled by the mess.” SDPD jailed 77 and issued 305 citations most related to alcohol in the beach areas. 454 parking citations. SDPD Capt. Meyers said “there were a lot of drunk people and the assaults, fights and all the behavior that goes with overindulgence of alcohol.”
7/2/05Several beach community residents are visiting trips to home-improvement stores for temporary fencing to keep trespassers off their property. Police expect 1 million people over 3-day weekend. Last year 750k people left 100 tons trash. Police stepped up enforcement last year citing or arresting 2,300 including 33 for felonies. 500 officers will work through extended weekend. During peak hours up to 70 will be patrolling beach areas (compared to 20-30 for regular beach days). Save Pacific Beach group founded.
8/8/06Oceanside – city is considering extending alcohol ban, currently in 9 parks to all (29) municipal parks. Alcohol not allowed on any city beaches or harbor.
6/22/06PBTC President Mullen announces that ballot for alcohol issue will not be held at meeting as announced rather by mail ballot.
7/1/06FreePB to put 120 trash boxes between La Jolla and OB. This is final year of SDPD Lansdowne’s three year push to clamp down on July 4th mayhem. City plans to spend $1million on police overtime. Police say they will measure success by number of service calls and amount of time an officer is out of circulation dealing with crime reports. This year, like last, police will have 125-150 additional officers in MB/PB on overtime. Before Lansdowne’s crackdown SDPD spent $100,000 on 4th of July policing efforts.
7/5/06In Mission Beach a drunk 24 year old man was arrested for being drunk in public. He then ran from the police and was struck by a car with serious head injuries. [I believe he was handcuffed but, this story doesn’t say that – I think he ran from police custody. Jerry]
July 4th crowds estimated at 633,000.
8/5/06PBTC asks SD City Council to consider a ban on alcohol at all city beaches and Mission Bay park. Councilmember Faulconer suggests rather than a ban he form a Task Force to address alcohol-related issues, who will then make recommendations to the City Council in 6 months. KF also says block party canceled, Community Court program initiated to help mitigate problems. Also, PB business owners reaffirm 10-year old Community Covenant.
8/28/06Faulconer about to announce Alcohol Task Force. Communities support the attempt. SavePB attempts to resurrect a 2004 proposal for CUP. 177 alcohol licenses in PB/MB where 75 would be allowed based on population numbers. FreePB challenges need for additional permit.
9/30/06Beach Alcohol Task Force (BATF) formed.
PB: Clyde Fuller, Jeremy Malecha (FreePB), Katie Keach (PBTC), Scott Chipman (SavePB), Carole Jenks (Zanzibar), Todd Brown (Bub’s Dive Bar)
MB: Mike Meyer (Planning Board), Mark Antis (business owner), Nancie Gellar (MBTC), Bill Bradshaw (MBTC), Jean Froning
OB: Dave Martin (business owner and OBTC), Julie Klein (MainStreet Association) and Dirk Stump (business owner [liquor licensee])
11/22/06Julie Klein suggests family zones in OB. FreePB opposes idea. SDPD sympathize.
4/17/07PB Planning Committee asks City Council for complete ban for July 4th.
6/6/07Faulconer’s BATF near completion. 22 recommendations where consensus reached.
9/4/0716 arrested at melee on Reed Street. Officers in riot gear. Original call for help by Lifeguards because of fight – an incident separate from ATV issue. Helicopter officer tells people to disperse.
9/5/07Faulconer announces support for year-round alcohol-free beaches. Will present ordinance in next 60 days. Mayor Sanders says goes too far. Man assaulted reported being hit at least 30 times. 70 people in crowd of 500 involved in incident. Officer suffers twisted ankle. 15 arrested. SDPD Chief Lansdowne calls issue a ‘donnybrook’ and said some reports blew it out of proportion. Repeats contention: It is easier for me to control them on the beach than to have them come into the city”.
9/7/07SDUT issues warning opinion that we should not repeat past.
9/9/07SDPD Internal Affairs investigating complaints about police abuse at Labor Day melee. Lifeguard disputes claimed an over-reaction.
Alcohol Culture in PB, Beach Ordinance, The Problems

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