Sullivan's Isl. mayor: Folly booze ban could drive beach traffic

Published: Jul. 2, 2013 at 10:06 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - It's been a sobering year for the city of Folly Beach.

Last Fourth of July, four Folly Beach public safety officers and oneCharleston County deputy were injured after becoming involved in a brawl.  Eight arrests and a beach-wide ban on alcoholstemmed from the incident.

Public safety director Dennis Brown says his officers have sinceundergone further training, including in crowd control.

"We have adequate resources to identify any issues that may arise thisFourth of July," Chief Brown says.  "I amfairly comfortable we have covered all our bases."

Originally, the city council-passed ban was met with resistance fromresidents and businesses.

However, several report an increase in business since the restrictions.

"We think the alcohol ban might have weeded out some of the elementthat was causing the problems," Rita's Seaside Grille manager John Benton says. "We're seeing a lot of families -- stilla lot of young folks coming out -- but it's a little different.   We think it's actually working out for thebest."

Sullivan's Island Mayor Michael Perkis says he believes the alcohol banis partly contributing to an increase in visitors, despite the fact that alcoholis not permitted at Sullivan's Island beaches, either.  He also cites general population growth and increasinglypopular local restaurants as reasons for more traffic on Sullivan's Island.


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