GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) – Gray skies and a passing shower or two didn’t keep everybody off the beach Thursday.
“This week has been really busy,” says Gulf Shores spokesman Grant Brown. “We’ve had a lot of kids on the beach. Our police department has been out in full force doing a really good job of controlling the kids and controlling larger congregations.”
Booze on the beach is behind many of the over 600 arrests so far this spring break season.
“It’s almost like we are having to be the pseudo-mom and dad down here on the beach to make them behave and not do something to hurt themselves,” says Orange Beach mayor Tony Kennon.
Both coastal communities are now considering banning alcohol. “We see banning alcohol from the beaches as an option,” says Kennon. “We’re not saying we’re going to do it but we’ve only had one week of spring break. The greater numbers are to come.”
“That’s being discussed along with other possible solutions,” adds Brown. “We’re not focusing on any one particular way to do this right now.”
Banning alcohol from the beaches in both cities would be an extreme measure but city leaders say it has worked elsewhere and it will work here too.
“It is a tool in our chest,” says Kennon. “If we need to ban alcohol we will. They did it in Panama City and it has worked.”
But city leaders say they are not there yet. An increased police presence seems to be working and the welcome mat is still out with a couple of exceptions. “You’re welcome to come down to the beach but you can’t come down here and trash the beaches and you can’t come down here and act like idiots,” says Brown.