Long Beach votes down boardwalk alcohol sales

To prohibit or not to prohibit; that was the question before the Long Beach City Council Tuesday. A handful of businesses along the boardwalk that lease the land from the city want to add alcohol to the menu. But the plan is a no-go. The council voted it down.

Critics say it is about the money. Gina Braddish, one of the proprietors on the boardwalk, says yes it is. She said allowing alcohol sales would help business and be good for the city.

While vendors of the Long Beach boardwalk say the permission they seek is to only allow drinking at their establishments and not to take onto the boardwalk, some think an entirely dry beach will promote better habits.

Judy Vinig of Long Beach Aware, the opposition voice, testified at the hearing that underage drinking is already a major problem in Long Beach. She cited a study that indicated that communities with more alcohol establishments have higher rates of underage drinking.

Still, boardwalk vendors point out that the vast majority of underage drinkers don't get their alcohol from restaurants, or even liquor stores. Braddish said she believes that minors get alcohol from a friend's house of their own parents' liquor cabinet.