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Surf City allows alcohol on beach

READ MORE: Surf City allows alcohol on beach

SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) -- A change to a Surf City town ordinance has many beach visitors tipping their cups and drinking alcohol on the sand without worrying about getting in trouble. The changes have people split.

Town council made a minor change to its old ordinance striking out the words public beach. The change means beachgoers can now enjoy an alcoholic beverage without breaking the law.

"We did not realize that we were breaking any laws by having beer cans on the beach," Susan Brooks, visiting from Charlotte, said.

Brooks and her family visit Surf City every year. They say they have always drunk alcohol on the beach and were unaware it was against the law... was against the law. After a vote to change an ordinance, the town now says bottoms up on the beach is OK.

"That's great," Brooks said. "It puts our minds to rest."

But not everyone agrees with the change.

"I think if you allow alcohol here it's going to send the wrong message," Terri Harmon of Wilmington said. "You're going to have problems during Spring Break, and I just think it's going to take away from your tourism the families that visit here."

Town officials say the reason for the change is because visitors were already sneaking alcohol on the beach. Brooks says that was the reason why they thought it was OK before.

"We see it everywhere," she said, "so we didn't realize it was anything illegal."

There is still one area on the beach where alcohol is banned, the 500-foot area near the Roland Avenue beach access, but our camera still spotted beach goers enjoying a cold beer on a hot day.

Town officials say no other changes were made to other alcohol restrictions. They want the public to remember that glass containers are still not allowed on the beach.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Why are you surprised???

People drink on the beach all the time. Carolina, Kure, Wrightsville. No-one stops this. And sometimes...wait for it...wait for it...THEY ARE UNDERAGE!!!!!

if only....

I am neither an island resident nor a day tripper. I live right over the Surf City line, or in between the lines I should say, if you have looked at the town lines lately. My better half and I enjoy the entire length of the island's beaches all year round, with and without our two dogs. I never gave a second thought to seeing beer drinking b/c I too, thought it was legal until very recently.
Hopefully the council has taken into consideration the negatives of the law change and are prepared to watch for erratic driving (although that is going to put all drivers under a more intense scrutiny), hopefully they have planned for patrolling the beaches at spring break for underage drinking (they drank this spring and I did not see any tickets handed out, and that trash and recylcle areas are available. I hope that while they are watching for underage drinkers they also watch for littering, the way I see the beach at times after a busy day, that could be a nice addition to the income of the city coffers.
And for the barely disguised acidic comment about visitors to our beaches, their opinion is needed, b/c without the visitors and day trippers, what financial condition would the beach city's be in? Can't have it both ways...personally I love the vast majority of the visitors I meet, I LOVE hearing about how our beaches are known across the sea as beautiful and pristine and our people are so friendly!

where was

the acidic comment regarding day trippers?

If you're referring to my post, go re-read it.

My comment dealt with the media failure to interview anyone from the City Government or Council. My comment also noted the failure to interview anyone who is a Surf City resident or property owner.

You hit on many of the issues I alluded to in my post. The streets along the beach are challenging enough to drive on during the week-ends with the number of visitors and the narrow streets.

Guess time will tell if this was a good idea.

With the ATVs and beach patrolling, I am surprised there have not been more citations issued.

Re-read it

Your comment was acidic in regards to the individual from Charlotte and the Wilmington day-tripper. You stated that " I'm certain it was more relevant to interview someone from Charlotte who spends one week a year in town and a Wilmington "Day Tripper" for an in depth analysis."

First off, I would hardly call the article an in depth analysis. The news station was asking people on the beach for their opinions in regards to the ordinance change made by town council to allow beer on the beach.

I do not believe that the reporter was trying to slight Surf City's Mayor, Town Manager, Police Chief, any member of town council or any property owning citizens of Surf City.

I believe that your feelings were hurt because the reporter did not seek you out personally for an opinion so to make yourself feel better you had to make your comments about the visitor from Charlotte and the Wilmington "Day Tripper" instead of just making a comment about the ordinance change.

Wrong Guest

the report was inaccurate. The Mayor indicates several from the Town Government were interviewed; guess their footage got snipped.

How could infrequent visitors have a more informed opinion over local property owners and long term residents?

Don't make assumptions about my feelings. You're way off track.

As a property owner in Surf City, I want to be certain an accurate picture is painted. Just as I focus my attention to DWI offenders.

If you're local, as you indicate, you would know it has never been illegal to consume beer on the beach in front of your property.

For the report to imply it has been illegal is a distortion of fact.

Had the reporter taken the time to seek out a property owner or 2, the report might have portrayed an accurate state of conditions. That was the issue; the reporter focused on those who do not have a vested interest in the town other than occassional visits.

The beaches are crowded, every week-end, with young Marines and college students. They have coolers full of beer. Many of them stock up and ice up at the IGA which is 2 blocks or so from the Welcome Center. The ABC store is within walking distance.

Have not seen any "Spring Break" type incidents in over 20 years. Did not see any rowdy behavior when Chubby Checker was on the Island a few weeks ago. Have not seen, nor have there been, excessive citations issued for DWI. Frankly, check the records; the majority of DWI citations issued in Surf City go to tourists.

As for me, I was in Carolina Beach working that day. Had the station wanted local participation, they have my cell number.

Better luck nest time Guest.

Spring Break

its not going to affect anything....the legals can drink and the majority of spring breakers are not of age long as they patrol and ID people, theres really no problem

So responsible adults should

So responsible adults should be treated like children because of some biased opinions? If I am minding my own business, taking my empties with me and not acting obnoxious, what's it too you? I do beach clean-up in Carolina Beach, and cigarette butts are the bulk of litter. Legal or not, it comes down to the person. Police those who cannot handle the responsibility and leave the rest of us alone. It's still a free country... somewhat.

Why is alcohol necessary to have fun?

What can be better than just sitting by the ocean to soothe one's soul? Why is it felt necessary to add alcohol to this state of mind when it should be thought necessary that people have their full wits about themselves entering water that could present dangerous conditions and consequences due to rip tides, etc.? Secondary to that, why add trash associated with careless people who bring bottles, cups, mixers, etc. and leave it for someone else to pick up? My, my, what is it that makes people feel they have to drug themselves to have fun?

i'll tell you what's

i'll tell you what's better.......getting hammered on the beach.

I think its great as long as

I think its great as long as they place the cans in a recycle bend and their trash in a can, not in the sand or surf. Moreover,cigarettes are what should really be banned. Lazy a** smokers tend to through butts in the sand.

Id rather step on a

Id rather step on a cigarette butt any day than DOG POOP...try calling pet owners "crazy azz pet owners"...just love these holier than thous that have nothing more to do than turn their nose up at anything that is legal, but not to their taste!! Its called your and my civil it sometime.

I agree with you about the

I agree with you about the cigarettes because they will throw a butt in the sand and then a small child will step on it and burn hes or hers foot.

Where is Surf City Tom

I am sure he has an opinion on this. Terri Harmon has one too I see. They were already drinking on the beach honey. It will be ok.

Yours Truly

was in Raleigh when the meeting was held.

I was disappointed, while watching the report, to note not one property owning citizen of Surf City was interviewed. Nor was the Mayor, Town Manager, Police Chief, or any member of the Town Council interviewed.

I'm certain it was more relevant to interview someone from Charlotte who spends one week a year in town and a Wilmington "Day Tripper" for an indepth analysis.

Insofar as my personal feelings, I don't think consumption on the public beach is a good idea. In this heat, even with a nice breeze from the ocean, the alcoholic impact of beer is heightened. Of course, once they've had a few brews, they walk to their car; get in; and possibly have an incident; the streets of Surf City are not that wide.

Guest, I'm not certain what the purpose of your post was? If it was an attempt to silence me or embarass me, you failed. Better luck next time.

But now you will see a lot

But now you will see a lot more people drinking bub,<---i can use cool pet names aswell. Anyways, Terri is right spring break will be terrible, young kids drinking will ruin the family atmosphere. There may have been some drinking before hand but now you will have a lot more and they will be drunk! I'll take my wife and kids elsewhere from now on.

Spring breakers

Give me a break. There won't be that many kids that go on Spring Break to sleepy little Surf City. They want to go where the action is. And drinking is legal in the USA. So let the people drink on the beach. I'm a property owner, not a vacationer, and I too sometimes enjoy a beer on the ebach and it would be nice to do it legally. Thanks.

One positive note

you won't be coming to Topsail Island.

That appears to be good news.

Not certain what the pet names reference is for. Maybe you have per names for your spouse and children.

Response to It will be ok.

Just because people were already drinking on the beach does not make it right to now allow it. In the end it will create more trash on the beach, more DUI's from people leaving the beach and more alcohol related accidents. So NO it will not be ok. If people can not go to the beach without the need for alcohol then there is something wrong with them.