Alcohol Banned for One Year at San Diego Beaches

The ban on booze is official.

The City Council on Monday approved a one-year ban on drinking alcohol at city beaches. The decision comes after a Labor Day melee at Pacific Beach that led to 17 arrests and a standoff between some beachgoers and police in riot gear.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer pushed for a permanent ban, but could not get enough votes. He then proposed the one-year ban that passed 5-2.

Some councilmembers said the ban was long overdue and will restore a family friendly atmosphere at the beach.

"There are beaches in this city that are off-limits to families" because of alcohol problems, said Council President Scott Peters said. "It's outrageous."

Drinking on the beaches has been a divisive issues in San Diego politics. In 1991, the council voted for a one-year trial, but was forced to rescind the decision when opponents gathered enough signatures for a referendum.

Five years ago, a ballot measure was defeated that would have imposed an 18-month, around-the-clock trial ban on parts of Pacific Beach and Mission Beach.

Mayor Jerry Sanders, who is not a member of the council, had suggested banning alcohol on certain holiday weekends, when local beaches attract more than 600,000 people.