Folly Beach, the only Charleston area beach to allow alcohol in public, just passed an emergency ban prohibiting open containers as result of a July 4th brawl that broke out near East 10th Street. The brawl, described by onlookers as a “riot,” resulted in multiple officers being injured according to Public Safety Chief Dennis Brown. Two have yet to return to work.
The “rioters” came to Folly via four tour buses on the morning of July 4th and parked on a 75 yard by 30 yard patch of sand on East 10th street. The fight began sometime later in the day. Seven people were arrested and four officers were injured.
The fighting wasn’t the only nuisance on Folly on the 4th. Residents and vacationers reported people urinating in front of their houses. Garbage was also an issue.
Prior to the July 4th concern had grown about the safety of Folly Beach, especially regarding open containers. Just days before the incident The Folly newsletter, “The Sandspur”, printed a warning to Folly residents stating date-rape drugs were making their way into people’s drinks, and the sale of crack cocaine and “bath salts” were on the rise. The newsletter also warned residents of home break-ins occurring in the area. Open container laws may or may not help the problem.
Chief Brown says the number of incidents on the beach has dropped. Crime within the city of Folly Beach, however, is up. City officials say a third of all arrests on Folly are alcohol related. Can banning open containers help this problem?
No group has acknowledged responsibility for the July 4th melee on the beach. A.M.P., an Atlanta based event company, and Good Ole Boys, a South Carolina based clothing company, both claim they have been scapegoats. They both had tents around the 10th Street area.
Many residents say they will miss sitting on the beach sipping adult beverages. Former Mayor Bob Linville says he enjoys sitting on the beach with a can of beer in his hand.
Various solutions were discussed during the Tuesday night council meeting. Folly Beach City Council decided to put a 60 day temporary ban on the consumption of alcohol on the beach. This ban extends until September 11th. Local restaurants and bars view it as an opportunity to capitalize on the ban and attract new customers into their place of business.
If you or someone you know has been charged with an open container offense, or other alcohol related offenses, contact the South Carolina criminal defense lawyer at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today to see how we can help. We understand honest mistakes happen to good people. Our South Carolina criminal defense will fight to protect your rights and help secure a beneficial outcome for you. Contact the Strom Law Firm today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.