To drink or not to drink ... on Folly Beach

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - You may not be able to enjoy a cold one on Folly Beach anymore if one local group has its way. The group Be for a Safer Folly is a grassroots group that wants to see alcohol disappear from the shoreline.

"Drinking in public, urinating in public, driving under the influence, underage drinking," are several things Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin says have created a push by some locals to keep alcohol off the beach.

Goodwin says the city's police department has kicked patrolling up a notch to prevent crime and what some say is an even more common problem, littering.

"We have increased our patrol on the beach, on big weekends we increase the number of police on the beach," Goodwin said. "And police the areas we know are problem areas."

Folly Beach is the only beach in the county that allows alcohol as long as it is poured in a cup. With the number of visitors rising, some say allowing alcohol is asking for more trouble. Goodwin says there is something you can do about it.

"The folks to originally is get a petition signed, get on the ballot for the referendum, make it binding so politicians have to do what the people want," Goodwin said.

Then, Goodwin says you have to vote. A petition only needs a little over 300 signatures to get on the referendum. He says if it's in by November, there could be a vote as soon as April.

"I don't think it's anyone's right to tell us what to do," said a person on the beach Sunday.

The general consensus among beach goers was to keep alcohol on the beach.

"If my husband and I want to come out on the beach and split a six-pack on the beach I think we should be able to do that," one woman said.

These beach goers say making it a rule not to drink could cause more problems.

"When you put stricter rules on people they go out of their way to break the law," another beach goer said.

"You're going to have problems everywhere," another person said. "I don't think it's going to solve it. There are more responsible drinkers than not."

We did reach out to a spokesperson from the group Be for a Safer Folly to comment, but they declined comment.

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