If you’re thinking of vacationing in Dewey Beach this summer, make sure to leave your booze at the shore house and your trash in the can because lifeguards are now on the lookout for more than just swimmers.
Dewey, Del. lifeguards can now ticket you for drinking alcohol or littering on the beach.
“We can write tickets for the consumption of alcohol in public, littering and so on,” said beach patrol Captain Todd Fritchman to Delmarvanow. “We’re not policemen. We’re rescue lifeguards with the ability to write tickets,” said Fritchman.
Be careful beachgoers, because the fine could burn a little.
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This year, littering and drinking offenses only cost $50 as they were dropped to civil offenses. Not too bad considering last year getting busted for the same thing on the beach was a criminal act that put you out $200. But don’t be surprised if you end up paying $200 like before. The heftier fines may make a return, even thought they’re not criminal violations, Mayor Dell Tush said.
But why should lifeguards be given the ability to do something normally reserved for cops?
“This frees up the police and is a more friendly process,” said Tush. “When you’re arrested for a criminal offense, you have to be finger-printed. It seemed a little ridiculous for someone who is arrested for such a minor offense as littering to go through that process,” she said.
Lifeguards have issued 19 tickets so far this summer, according to officials.
So beware before you crack one open on Dewey beaches.