Pacific Beach residents already sick of  alcohol related issues like drunk driving are fighting a local restaurant’s bid to expand its business and attract more customers, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

The Pacific Beach section of San Diego has been the focal point in the last few years for the city’s stance against alcohol-related problems like drunk driving.  A riot on Labor Day two years ago led to the trial ban on alcohol at city beaches and that ban eventually led to Proposition D in 2008, which permanently outlawed alcohol at local beaches.

PB bar getting opposition from residents fed up with drunk driving & other alcohol related problems.

The Pacific Beach Shore Club on Ocean Boulevard wants to construct a new outdoor deck with a view of the shore.  The expansion would allow for another 126 customers, but residents in the area are not having it.

Locals believe the add-on conflicts with existing alcohol licenses issued by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that restaurant obtain when they extend service hours or expand their business.  Critics believe measures like these transform restaurants into late hour watering holes, raising the possibility of drunk driving accidents when patrons are looking to drive home.

Last year, San Diego police arrested 515 drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol in the Pacific Beach and Mission Beach areas.  245 DUI arrests have already been made this year alone.  These drivers put sober drivers’ and passengers’ health at risk because a car accident can cause serious personal injuries or lead to a wrongful death.

Right now, Pacific Beach residents are trying to get the city to place a 24-hour ban on alcohol at Kate O. Sessions Park.  Drinkers have been taking their beverages to the park since Prop D passed in 2008 and because Kate Sessions Park only has a 12-hour ban.  If this passes, not only would alcohol be banned at Kate Sessions but 21 other San Diego parks as well.

The Pacific Beach Planning Group says there is a large number of businesses with alcohol licenses near the beach — 64 in total.  That number well exceeds the ABC guidelines of one liquor license per 2,000 residents, and an expansion of the shore club could make things worse.  Some residents think the opposition is nothing more than an attack on the business.

“It’s a really responsible group of guys there, and unfortunately what’s being made the issue is mistakes other people have made,” said 39-year-old Chris Cisek of Pacific Beach.

Our San Diego car accident lawyer and this firm have been observing the situation in Pacific Beach ever since the temporary ban was placed at Pacific Beach.  As far as we’re concerned, we want what is best for the safety of motorists and passengers.  If an expansion will only create more possibility of drunk driving, maybe it should be rethought.

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