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I have heard arguments, and note the comments, that it is the department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and police’s responsibility to enforce the existing drinking laws here in Pacific Beach.
I did my own survey and found that for the last five years, the ABC has only issued 16 actions against the approximately 130 PB liquor licensees. Of these violations, half were related to serving or selling to minors. Also, half of the enforcement actions including fines or business-closure suspensions were dropped. All told about $18,000 was collected in fines from these liquor establishments.
Regarding the levels of crime in PB? From my understanding in 2005 the core PB census tract 79.01 (roughly from Ocean Blvd to Fanuel St. and from PB Drive to Chalcedony) had an astonishingly 36 times the San Diego city average census tract of alcohol related arrests and citations. Some will tell you that this high number is because of the high number of people who visit PB.
To give you some perspective on this number, I believe our downtown-core census tract has only nearly seven times the city average. Surely they have many visitors from out of the area n- and a good deal of liquor licenses don’t they? Why is their level of alcohol-related crime so much lower?
Some say that we have unusually high numbers of arrests and citations only because of increased police presence. Wouldn’t it make sense that the Police put resources where they are needed? Wouldn’t it too make sense that the SDPD are only citing and arresting only a fraction of the offenders? If this is the case, then we are far beyond the 36 times the City-wide average.
I believe the ABC and the SDPD are doing all they can with the limited resources they have at their disposal. I too believe that we must help find more resources within the ABC, as well as getting additional financial and technological tools to the SDPD, to help our community.
Run? Hide my head in the sand?
To those who suggest I simply move out of PB if I don’t like the crime with all the alcohol-related problems: Is that what you do when you are faced with a tough situation? Run? Bury your head in the sand? This isn’t about me and quite frankly it’s not about any one of us. This is about the millions of people who come to the beach community each and every year. Many are getting hurt, robbed, raped, beat-up and killed. Many others are experiencing living in a whirlwind trash, litter, vandalism, theft and many other quality of life issues. Is it only the Police’s responsibility or should the community step in when it seems the City and State resources are overwhelmed? Are you going to step up to your social responsibility and say ‘hey something is wrong here, we need to work on solutions’ or just turn tail?
In 2006, six people lost their lives in PB due to alcohol-related accidents. Are you comfortable with the levels of alcohol-related crimes and deaths in PB? Please indicate what levels of crime is OK with you so the family of the next person who gets killed will understand that you see their loss as an acceptable cost to preserve your right to drink with impunity.
I think if we can all step back and look at the big picture, rather than attacking one person’s ideas, that would be great. I’m not against anyone going to the beach and having a glass of wine to enjoy the sunset. I am against all the crime and problems that are associated with the few that are ruining it for the many. Remember as well that we’re not only talking about drinking at the beach but, in the PB business district as well. Why do people consistently attack the messenger rather than agree that there are people with problems and that we together experience the brunt of their actions. The current situation isn’t working. What do you recommend to fix the problems?
— JERRY HALL