Poll Shows Dissatisfaction With Booze Ban At Beach

by on September 8, 2009 · 27 comments

in Civil Rights, Ocean Beach, San Diego

beer floats

OB Rag poll shows dissatisfaction with beach booze ban - a result reflected in how in Mission Bay, young adults are finding a way around the beach booze ban by taking rafts and inner tubes onto the water to consume their alcoholic beverages. - NELVIN CEPEDA / Union-Tribune

OCEAN BEACH, CA.  The results of our last week’s poll on the beach alcohol ban show a clear over-all dissatisfaction with the booze prohibition.

59% of our 105 respondents voiced discontent with the ban.  People voted that the ban trampled their freedoms or that they had less fun at the beach, objecting to not being able to bring a cup of wine or beer to the sand.

Another 40% felt the beach was either a lot safer or a lot cleaner. The poll began on August 29, 2009, and ran for a week.

Here is the poll – with the responses in order as they were presented:

With Labor Day approaching, how do you feel the ban on alcoholic beverages on the beach has worked?

* No change, other than trampling my freedoms.

18–17% of all votes

* I see no difference.

1–1% of all votes

* I love it. The beach is a lot safer now.

25–24% of all votes

* The beach is a lot cleaner now.

17–16% of all votes

* I have less fun at the beach. I really object to not being able to bring a cup of wine or beer to the beach every now and then.

44–42% of all votes

Six out of 10 respondents appeared to oppose the ban. (We have no way to determine who the respondents were or where they lived.)

This opposition to booze at the beach reflects the opposition to Prop D at the beach when it was brought before voters in late 2008.  Ocean Beach, in particular, rejected the ban by 2 to 1.  Other beach communities also voted against it.  (Go here for a map of the vote and analysis.)

Along with the appearance this summer of floating raft parties of up to 3,000 beer guzzling young people on Mission Bay who have found a way around the prohibition on the sand, our poll demonstrates a stiff and perhaps growing opposition to the ban of drinking alcohol at the beach.  Labor Day weekend witnessed the continuation of this floating trend.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn Conrad September 8, 2009 at 10:39 am

My thoughts are for having a set time (say one or two years) where we ban alcohol, and then an equal period where children are banned.


r hoobler September 8, 2009 at 10:57 am

and make all those hippies get a hair cut.


Dallas September 8, 2009 at 11:34 am

There’s ways around it. True locals (or regular visitors) know what’s up.


Abby September 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I think the cops are spending too much time looking for booze on the beach then enforcing the speed limit on Sunset Cliffs.


Shawn Conrad September 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

The Starbuck’s travel coffe mug cocktail is best. No one would suspect a Starbuck’s addict to have anything but coffee in their cup.


BillRayDrums September 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Ban alcohol and tobacco altogether. I mean if marijuana is such a dangerous and harmful substance, why allow alcohol/cigs to be available by anyone with a fake ID?

Come on, gov’t, save us from ourselves a little more!



Shawn Conrad September 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm


I assume it has something to do with the awesome fines associated with improper handling of alcohol and cigarettes (underage or other).


BillRayDrums September 8, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Shawn, You mean that the government really *doesn’t* care about my health and well-being? **shudder** Oh man I’ma go boil my head in the oven now……

/sarcasm :D


Shawn Conrad September 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm


Better do it before they ban head boiling.


ClubStyle_DJ September 9, 2009 at 7:16 am

From the office of councilman Kevin “KillJoy” Faulconer:
Effective Immediately “head boiling” will be banned.

Advanced bias cup smelling training will begin on Tuesday…
All your hard work in police and lifeguard training has come to this.
You must be so proud… I know I am.


Abby September 9, 2009 at 7:18 am

We just did our drinking (or whatever) at home, then walked to the beach. Sure, I miss sitting on the beach enjoying a beer at sunset, but it’s not that big a deal I guess.


Molly September 9, 2009 at 8:09 am

There’s a letter today in the local fishwrap of a guy who used to live in Mission Beach – he came back to find no one having fun on the beach after 6pm – and it’s all due to the alcohol ban. ‘Good job’ he tells San Diego – we managed to kick the fun off the sand – and now it’s floating around Mission Bay. WTF? How did we come to this?


Molly September 9, 2009 at 8:12 am

Shawn and r hoobler – can we ban irrelevancy? Oh, sorry then you guys would have to write somewhere else. Oh BTW Shawn it’s BillRay not Billyray, ya doof


Abby September 9, 2009 at 8:39 am

The beach did seem less crowded here, which was kind of nice. Maybe it’s not so bad after all.


Dave Gilbert September 9, 2009 at 10:35 am

I used to love getting my dogs, heading over to dog beach, swinging into “Pat’s” for a couple of ice cold tall boys (cans of course) and then watching the sunset while my dogs enjoyed the beach.

These days I can still do all of that without the barley pops so that’s cool. But do I miss all of the out of towners getting drunk & belligerent on what I consider “my beach”? Not at all! Even though I can’t stand the Government placing more bans on me, it’s a lot more peaceful here and I can live with that.


Shawn Conrad September 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm


Die in a grease fire.



annagrace September 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm

“Die in a grease fire????” as a response to “can we ban irrelevancy?” You’re going soft Shawn. That merited “May your skin fall off before you die a painful death in a grease fire.”


Dave Sparling September 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Again this Labor Day the old cripple Vietnam Veteran and his faithful dog FAULKNER had to miss the PIG ROAST. They could not walk that far and will always miss the old location. But hey the new drinking behind a Camp Gitmo fence, while being watched by security guards might not be what he fought in NAM for, but the do-good-ers are in charge now.

Just a story folks, will enter it in the next City Beat 100 word contest.


Shawn Conrad September 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm


I am obviously out estrogened here.


r hoobler September 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm

now that we’ve gotten rid of shawn, i guess i’m the resident old grouch. and, no, molly, you can’t ban me.


Molly September 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Geez, shawn, I’m so sorry. I really didn’t know or think my harsh words would drive you to smoke MJ. Well, OB has 6 or 7 dispensaries so enjoy! And please don’t go away. Once in about every 12 comments of yours, you are funny.


Shawn Conrad September 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm

This morning I was a Jesuit, and now look at me. Under the pier with a girlfriend with underarm hair. Oh the humanuity.


Dave Gilbert September 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm


I used to think BillRay was using BillyRay here too, probably from being a Chargers fan and that BRS* was our #1 pick from 1983.

Bill Ray’s a helluva drummer, one of S.D’s best.

*Linebacker Billy Ray Smith.


PSD September 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I like how the guy in the linked story stated that he voted for D out of a desire to “upgrade the quality of beach visitors.”

Of course there are ways around the ban – drink at home and then walk to the shore, hide your drink in a cup, float in a raft off shore – but like a distinguished veteran also named Dave said, is the ability to hide ourselves from our government the kind of freedom one fights to defend?

I’ve always been a believer that we don’t need a new law to alleviate a problem if better enforcement of existing laws can serve the same purpose. In this case, methinks public intoxication laws were plenty effective in controlling rowdy beach drunks, provided it was only the rowdies we were trying to control. If we’re trying, however, to upgrade the “quality” of visitor to our beaches, the need for new laws to drive off people like my ilk are debatable…


Dave Sparling September 10, 2009 at 9:55 pm



john September 27, 2009 at 8:51 am

This law was insane to begin with and an instance of the minority with their large political contributions being catered to. (and I don’t drink but live on the edge of Dog Beach parking lot, so you’d think I’d want the ban)
Tourism is San Diego’s number one industry. The number one tourist attraction is not Sea World or the Zoo, it’s our beaches. So here the entire nation is gobsmacked with an economic meltdown, call it what it is, a depression… and we pass a law to discourage as much of our bread and butter as possible? I remember the head of the lifeguards saying his crews would have a much easier time without the alcohol. Police and paramedics said their jobs would be so much easier and less hectic without all the crowds- these were actually acceptable as arguments!
Hello? “My day would be so much easier without all these customers bothering me” sound familiar? Maybe it’s too much trouble to get out of bed and fight all that traffic driving to work every day too!
They even said discouraging the drinkers would bring back the “family” element to the beach. Ever hear anyone say “he was out spending money like a five year old”? No, I think that’s drunken sailor, families generally bring a picnic lunch.
If it’s peace and quiet you are looking for, don’t live at the beach.


Jerry Roman October 13, 2009 at 8:02 pm

REMOVE Kevin Faulconer from office!

He ran his previous election campaigns saying no to any alcohol ban. Now he has enacted a 24/7/365 alcohol bad on our beaches, bays and parks. Did he flip/flop for the political gain? His uneducated knee jerk reaction shows he is not fit to be a public servant.

San Diegans want a leader they can TRUST that has the LEADERSHIP to make EDUCATED and INFORMED DECISION for the people. Not for his political gain!


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