Police: Alcohol ban may not be enough

By Lia

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) - An alcohol ban at Folly Beach may not prevent drinkers from heading to the sand. Both Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms police say they still hand out tickets to people disobeying the rule on their beaches.

"Nothing stops people from doing what they want to do," Sullivan's Island Police Chief, Daniel Howard said. "It's a never ending battle."

Chief Howard said the 4th of July brawl on Folly Beach reminded him of similar scenario a few years ago on Sullivan's. He said there was a large group packed into one area with a lot chanting, but did not escalate to the level that Folly experienced.

"When they left I think we picked up seven truck loads and trailers of trash," he said. "They left chairs, coolers, tents you name it."

Ever since that incident, Chief Howard said they have stepped up patrol on the 4th of July.

"We have ramped up our manpower every year on that date just because you don't know where these organizations are planning these parties," he said, referring to the party at Folly Beach.

While Chief Howard did not have the exact number of alcohol related citations on the beach available, he did say it is minimal this year.

"I think in general we are more of a family style beach or family oriented," he said. "We do get a younger crowd in certain areas. But we haven't had any issues with rowdiness or anything like that this year that I know of."

Isle of Palms Police Chief Thomas Buckhannon said there were no drinking citations on the beach on the 4th of July. He said there overall citations have fallen off this year compared to the last two years.

As of this June, there have been 21 alcohol related citations on the beach at Isle of Palms this year. The year prior, there were 82.