GULF SHORES BANS BOOZE ON BEACHES
By WVUA 23 Web Writer Trent Carlson
Gulf Shores decided to ban alcohol on the beach Friday. The decision came during spring break for many of the city’s tourists, and was effective immediately.
The new ordinance is part of a trend for alcohol bans on Gulf Coast beaches, started by the same decision made last year by Panama City Beach, Florida. The ban is temporary and came into effect in response to numerous arrests for underage drinking. Anyone in violation could face a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail.
Some college students visiting Gulf Shores on their spring break said that while they may understand the decision, they don’t agree with it.
“If you’re a legal adult I don’t see what the problem is with it,” said William Pemu, a student on spring break. “When you come to the beach that’s part of the experience.”
“It kind of stinks for those of us that are actually going to be responsible about their drinking,” said Maggie Johnson, a student from Arkansas. “It kind of ruins it for all of us.”
“You would like to have a beer on the beach, but we understand why they do it, too,” said Vaughn Brockel, a student from Wisconsin.
Not all students were opposed to the new rule, as some thought it made the beach more enjoyable.
“It really is nice actually. You can come in and not have so much trash,” said Savanna Woods, a Mobile native. “It’s not populated I guess, so the lack of alcohol is driving people away a little bit.”
Feelings among students are mixed on whether or not they will return to Gulf Shores next spring break if the ban remains in place. Johnson said she would be reconsidering her plans for next year. Others still feel like Gulf Shores is a good spring break destination for students.
“I would encourage everybody, all of the underclassmen, to keep coming to Gulf Shores, alcohol or not,” said Talbot Aucoan, an LSU student. “It’s a good time and it’s a great beach.”
Other beaches around the Gulf Coast are continuing to follow suit, as Orange Beach voted to enforce a no alcohol ban next year.