Alcohol Ban Passes

By Robb Bailey

After decades of debate, summertime brawls around the city’s beaches, and a compromised initial vote, San Diego’s beach alcohol ban proposal finally got the nod from City Council members.

A one-year ban on alcohol at all city beaches was imposed by the city council on Monday, November 5th 2007. The ban will go into effect on the first day of 2008.

Love it or hate it, the summer will no longer be filled with cold beer on the hot sand for the Fourth of July. Enjoying a bottle of wine with your feet in the ocean while you watch the sunset with your sweetheart is out too. But mostly, no more drunken fighting and leftover trash on our beloved beaches, something that local ban supporters have been pursuing year after year.

Clearly specific problems such as the recent beach riot in Pacific Beach have been brought to light due to the consumption of alcohol, but the issue is a heavily debated one in San Diego. Our beaches have a nation-wide reputation as a destination for partying in the sun.

But will the ban really solve the problem?
Depends on who you ask.

For supporters of the ban, the answer is yes. After slews of beach brawls, fighting transients, drunken college students, and the mass volume of trash left after holidays, the direct link seems to be alcohol.

But other residents claim that a few specific instances spoil the good times for the rest. Their argument is that the ban will only increase drunkenness in the neighborhoods and bars of beach areas. Opposers claim the ban will only encourage the transferring of alcohol into masked containers for beach drinkers, not solving the problem at all.

Only time will tell with this issue, but for city council members, who voted 5-2 in favor of the one year ban, this was a start to what historically has worked in other areas.

Alcohol is banned at four La Jolla beaches, the only beaches in the city where it can’t be consumed at any time. Seventeen years ago La Jolla started a moratorium and their beaches are still booze-free today.

Left unclear is whether those opposed to the ban will start collecting signatures to overturn the council vote, as others have done before.

For more on the ban, visit: