Folly Beach one step closer to vote on alcohol ban

By Valencia

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV){}-- For the second time, Folly Beach council has voted to put a referendum on the November ballot asking whether or not to permanently ban alcohol on the beach.

Council passed the second reading Wednesday night by a vote of 5 to 2.

The ordinance would allow voters to have the final say on the alcohol ban. Still, voters filled the room to express their strong feelings both for and against the ban.

"My grandpa along with many other old salty dogs that have now passed on would be rolling over in their grave if they knew what was going on with this beach," said Bryan Sanders, a long time Folly resident. "To allow a hand full of idiots to change my island and your island is a foul of the worst sort. We don't need new laws, but, rather the enforcement of the existing laws."

Sanders wasn't alone in wanting to keep booze on the beach. One guy asked council why rush to make such a permanent decision.

"The 60 day emergency ban that you all enacted will already carry us til after labor day. So why not slow down and let the dust settle a little bit? We don't have to rush to get it on the November election. In fact, it wouldn't be Folly without a special election," said DJ Rich, who also lives on Folly Beach.

Others were ready to jump right into alternatives and discuss options to a full on ban.

"One would be to maybe ban alcohol on all federal holidays. You can Google it. There's a list of federal holidays and you're done. And, that might get rid of the problem," said Amy Bradley who lives on James Island.

There could be some discussion on enacting specific dates and times in which alcohol would be illegal, according to city attorney Ben Peeples.{}He adds the ruling would have to be inclusive of all residents and general public on Folly Beach.

The permanent ban ordinance would have to pass a third vote for it to be put on the November ballot.

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