Beer Float

Before San Diego Police Captain Chris Ball had the chance to sit down at Wednesday's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee meeting, the issue of "floatillas" surfaced.

"These floatillas...I imagine we're going to have our hands full dragging people out of the water," committee chair Marti Emerald said as she introduced agenda item six, which details the beach operational plan for this coming summer.

The legality of floatillas has drifted in and out of council chambers since partiers discovered a loophole in the city's beach-booze ban that allows them to crack open beers and other adult beverages while they float in rafts just offshore.

"I had not anticipated you would bring up the issue of floatillas quite this early, but we will certainly address that," said Captain Ball moments after taking his seat.

Ball did address the “raft ragers” but not until after he presented the 2010 Summer Beach Operational Plan and not until committee members asked.

"These floatillas...do you suspect they are going to be an issue for you?" asked Emerald.

"There are certainly people looking at the issue of legality and how we can more effectively manage the floatillas," responded Ball.

Committee member Tony Young waded in and asked what Ball thought about a future amendment that would also prohibit people from bringing unopened containers onto the beach.

"What I think about it? The floatillas create a challenge for us," responded Ball. In terms of a public safety issue...people [are] getting out in floats in 10 or 12 feet of water and they are completely intoxicated.... There is a significant public safety issue."

Young then reminded the audience that this type of behavior was the reason why he did not support the ban. "People are going to find a way."

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I have no idea why they can't just take a chunk of beach that is easily managable by law enforcement and allow alcohol. A lot of people want to run around banning everything that offends them, but they rarely think of the consequences if they're successful. Just take a section of Silver Strand and allow alcohol and this problem and many others will go away.

Another great story from you, Dorian. Straightforward, unbiased, objective, no distorting of the facts, gets right to the heart of the matter. You are an excellent journalist. :)

This is the beginning of a good report. I’m guessing there was no opportunity to ask this question after this: Young then reminded the audience that this type of behavior was the reason why he did not support the ban. "People are going to find a way." Mr. Young, how many parks in your district allow alcohol now and how many before the beach and bay ban? The answer is Zero! Do I smell nimbyisum?

The floating parties are a public safety/taxpayer expense issue. Wasting SDPD's limited resources on controlling drinkers in the water seems foolish. I thought that parties of a certain size required permits which would make the permit holders responsible for any needed permit conditions/restrictions, security, and cleanup. The City is always looking for ways to generate fees so I would think someone on city staff could come up with a fee system for the floating parties.

Jeez....talk about a "nanny state"....people are adults.

Let 'em drink till they're sleepy and sleep till they're thirsty. If they fall off their little floats and drown, use their floating carcasses like a floating table to hold the six packs.

Send the lifeguards away to watch over the little kids and inlanders who've never been to the ocean before. THESE people have to be responsible for their own actions. Stop babysitting!

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