Police: Make a splash, not waves

Those heading out to the beach this Spring Break should stay mindful of a few important city laws and beach rules before soaking up some sun. 

Every spring, the Coastal Bend’s beaches attract thousands of residents and tourists, but according to law enforcement, if beach-goers want to stay safe, they must obey the rules. 

“We deal with a variety of mostly minor crimes including public intoxication, theft, fights and DWI,” said Port Aransas Chief of Police Scott Burroughs. “Almost every Spring Break arrest is either directly or indirectly related to the use or overuse of drugs or alcohol.”

According to Burroughs, Port Aransas officers will be on the lookout for hazardous driving, underaged drinking and DWI offences this year. During peak periods, there will be 20-30 police units on the beach and Highway 361. 

During the break, Port Aransas has a city ordinance that prohibits the possession of alcoholic beverages on the beach after 6 p.m., but according to Burroughs, that prohibition will be enforced on a case-by-case basis.

“As a general rule, we do not enforce the prohibition unless it is necessary to maintain the peace,” Burroughs said. “If you are causing a disturbance, or are part of a group that is causing a disturbance, there is a real good possibility that we are going to ask you to dispose your alcohol.”  

Burroughs said those who fail to comply may receive a citation or be arrested with a $500 fine. 

If people want to stay safe this spring break, Burroughs said a good starting point is the safety rules taught by every mother — lock your doors, avoid getting into vehicles with strangers and don’t over indulge. 

“If you want to avoid contact with the police, simply avoid drawing attention to yourself, employ common sense, and follow the rules,” Burroughs said. 

Corpus Christi also has its own set of rules all beach-goers must follow.  

According to the city’s website, glass bottles are prohibited at all beaches. Any trash and pet waste must be disposed of properly at one of the nearby trash receptacles, especially plastics. 

When it comes to pets, the city is asking that pet owners keep their pets on a leash or under verbal command.  

Fires of any kind are prohibited at North Beach and McGee Beach. Fires will be allowed at Gulf beaches like Padre Island National Seashore only if they do not exceed 3 feet high by 3 feet wide. Fires must be fully extinguished with no leftover residue. All holes dug for fire purposes should be filled back in with sand. Burning pallets is prohibited because they contain nails. 

Driving is not allowed on North Beach or McGee Beach. The speed limit for all Gulf beaches is 15 mph. Beach permits are required on Gulf beaches and other designated areas where posted.

“The Corpus Christi Visitor Information Center is excited to welcome visitors from all over Texas and beyond for Spring Break 2019,” said Director of Visitor Services Meredith Darden. “We will have our Mobile Visitor Information Center set up at Mile Marker 216 on Windward Beach in order to better serve visitors of Corpus Christi.”

At the information center, visitors can purchase beach-parking permits for $12.

To learn more about Corpus Christi’s beach rules, visit www.cctexas.com.

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