• August 17, 2019

Police stepping up prohibition on alcohol on beach - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Police stepping up prohibition on alcohol on beach

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Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 11:05 am

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City Police are cracking down on public alcohol consumption on the beaches. 

According to Ocean City Ordinance 18-2.7(f) the consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages on all Ocean City beaches is prohibited. 

That hasn’t stopped some visitors from bringing alcohol onto the beach, smuggling them in coolers or plastic cups. 

According to a July 29 posting on the Ocean City Police Department’s Facebook page, residents and guests are reminded not to drink alcoholic beverages on the beach. 

“The OCPD has received numerous emails and phone calls from concerned citizens regarding residents and guests of all ages openly consuming alcoholic beverages on the beach. In response to the complaints, officers will be increasing patrols on the beaches to ensure that everyone is aware of the ordinance. The ordinance applies to all on the beach. Local or guest … new to the drinking game or experienced pros … everyone,” the post reads. 

Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen noted that Ocean City has been a dry town since 1879, and drinking alcohol on any other public beach in New Jersey is illegal.

“This is not a question of awareness. The problem is that far too many people believe this law applies to everybody but themselves,” Bergen said. “People have become increasingly brazen about openly ignoring this ordinance. Ocean City Police Department patrols this week issued summonses to a small number of beachgoers. The department asks beachgoers to know and respect the law. Police will continue to enforce it.”

According to signs posted on the beach, fines for bringing alcoholic beverages on the beach are $275. 

The Ocean City Police Department requests all complaints about drinking on the beach be forwarded to the non-emergency police line, (609) 399-9111. 

Not everybody embraces the police department’s efforts to stamp out public drinking.

Commenters on the OCPD Facebook page were mostly critical of these patrols.

Hillary Kate wrote: “Wow. Just wow. I can understand if there are unruly folks annoying you or your family with public intoxication. But if you’re the type to call the cops on a 65-year-old couple having a concealed beer on the beach you need a life and to refocus on real problems.” 

John Keating wrote: “How about policing the underlying problems – public urination, littering, disorderly conduct – and leave everyone who can drink responsibly and clean up after themselves alone.” 

“What are they going to do. Ask to sniff our drinks?” Judy Mosso-Crowder wrote. “Time better spent to get rid of the bikes on the boards after 12.” 

“Enjoying a drink on the beach on vacation responsibly is much different than people getting drunk and acting disorderly. Seems to me there are bigger issues that should be addressed, maybe the people every 10 steps on the boardwalk asking for money now?” Christiana Boody wrote. “As long as you’re not being obnoxious or unsafe I don’t really care what you’re drinking – to each his own.” 

Others posted that the laws were posted for a reason and should be properly enforced. 

“If people want to drink they can go to Sea Isle. Ocean City isn’t the place for it, nor is it catered towards it,” Ryan Clemson wrote. “You’ll just have a crappy time anyway.”

John Giordano wrote: “Purchased a home here in expectation that posted City Beach Ordinances were real and enforced. Finding out over the past few years they are not. I hope this works. It is truly getting out of hand with alcohol, dogs and smoking on the beach.” 

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