There’s plenty of talk right now about what life will be like at the beach on the Fourth of July without booze. If this Los Angeles Times travel section piece is any harbinger, it’s going to be pretty laid back and family friendly.

Here’s a snippet:

San Diego officials are declaring the ban a success.

“I’ve been down there a lot, talking to locals and tourists alike. Even though we are still in a trial period, so many people have commented on how the vibe is much nicer and more relaxed,” says San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who led the efforts to pass the alcohol ban. “The beach is cleaner, people feel safer and it is particularly great to see more families out there.”

Darrell Esparza, sergeant with the San Diego Lifeguard Service, agrees. “Alcohol-related injuries have gone way down, and people aren’t afraid to walk down the boardwalk anymore. It is a safer environment for my lifeguards and the public.”

But “the number of rescues we’ve had to do has gone up,” Esparza says. “We have had a lot more families coming out to the beach, so there are more kids in the water.”

My colleague Will Carless was recently talking to lifeguards for a different story he was working on and he reported hearing similar comments about more rescues at the beach. More children, fewer intoxicated people. So just as many people using the ocean as a bathroom?

ANDREW DONOHUE

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