Oh my gosh, you guys, the weather is so nice in the Outer Sunset. However, as we reported yesterday, some Ocean Beach-goers, unfamiliar with the laws of the land, are getting issued expensive tickets for alcohol possession or consumption.
While we’ve been unable to confirm with the US Park Police that enforcement has been stepped up, readers continue to report seeing more officers than usual (we can speculate: warm weather?) ticketing folks who are breaking the Ocean Beach booze laws. Which are, according to Golden Gate National Recreation Area Law Enforcement Specialist Marybeth G. McFarland, that you’re not allowed to drink booze on the beach, or have any open containers of alcohol.
Why? Because, she says, quoting the regulation to us (we’ve pasted the entire rule below, and you can read all the Golden Gate National Recreation Area rules and regs here), there’s a “history of aberrant behavior directly attributed to the use of alcohol which has led to assaults, unruly crowds, disorderly conduct, and vandalism to both public and private property.” You could apply that to the whole planet, right? She just chuckled politely at that one.
McFarland hastens to add that “all glass containers are prohibited on the beach, because they break and people have gotten hurt.” So remember that before you try that half-and-half peach schnapps and peach Faygo trick (my high school boyfriend’s beverage of choice!).
The penalty if you get caught? McFarland says it’s a $100 ticket (plus $25.00 processing fee) and if you’re under $21, $200 (plus the $25 fee). Worth the risk? That’s for you to decide.
36 CFR 2.35 -ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES and CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:
Fort Point National Historic Site (inside the Fort)
Merrie Way parking and sidewalks
Muir Woods National Monument
Navy Memorial parking
Ocean Beach, including walkway and seawall.
Special prohibitions at Ocean Beach, Sutro Baths, Merrie Way, Navy Memorial, and Battery Chamberlin are required due to the history of aberrant behavior directly attributed to the use of alcohol which has led to assaults, unruly crowds, disorderly conduct, and vandalism to both public and private property. Prohibition at Fort Point NHS, Muir Woods NM and Alcatraz Island is intended to reduce conflict between users and enhance visitor safety.