Group wants to overturn current Folly booze ban

By Nikki

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- A movement to overturn the current booze ban on Folly Beach is underway.

Last September, city council banned alcohol on the beach following a Fourth of July brawl.

Now, one group, called Voices of Reason,{}wants to change that. Members are asking for only a partial ban on alcohol and that the issue be put to a public vote.

The group's leader, Omar Colon, owns Bert's Market and says his business took a ten percent hit when council passed the ordinance. As of Wednesday, he already had more than 200 signatures from people who say that ban was a bad idea.

"People are going to drink on the beach whether you catch them or not--they're just going to be more creative," said Folly Beach homeowner and petition supporter, Elizabeth Beckmann.

The petition calls for kegs to be prohibited on the beach at all times. It also recommends prohibiting beer and alcohol on the beach on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

Beer and alcoholic beverages would also be prohibited on the beach from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

"I would support a partial ban. This way I'm cutting my losses. I'll be able to drink on the beach and it still addresses a problem," said Joseph Pattillo.

In order for city council members to consider the petition, members must get the signatures of 15 percent of Folly's voting population.

"Once that's verified, we turn it into city council and they have two options. They can either enact the ordinance by a vote or they can choose to vote it down which would force it to go to a referendum within a year," said Colon.

Mayor Tim Goodwin said that most people who call Folly Beach home are pleased with the current ordinance.