An open letter to San Diego and State officials and all colleaguesMarch 14, 2010 1 Comment
Here’s a letter I sent to our city and state leaders as well as many colleagues:
Executive Summary: Visit www.pbSpirits.com, join newsletter, leave feedback on posts, invite others
Dear Friends and colleagues,
I wanted to invite you to visit a new website created to illustrate and document the levels of alcohol issues in Pacific Beach. It’s at www.pbSpirits.com. You’ll find many resources including:
- Enforcement statistics, charts and maps – both ABC and SDPD.
- The ABC section is being updated with current documents however you’ll see quite a bit of information here as well. I personally believe there is a significant lack of enforcement in PB and when such an enforcement action does take place the punishment is usually partially or completely waived. I want to work to illustrate the history of each license – i.e. the morphing of a restaurant into a full-blown bar as well as the apparent shell game effectively erasing any enforcement history – granted from one owner to the next but, the issue is the licensed establishments stay in the same spot – affecting the community oftentimes negatively regardless of who owns the license.
- I was able to be at the DUI checkpoint this past Saturday evening and watch well over a dozen people get arrested for DUI. PB checkpoints consistently produce more DUI arrests than any other known event at the very least during this last decade. Two idiots even ran the checkpoint and I believe they should be charged at the very least with endangering a peace officer as these men and women are working on one side of a concrete median – the same road the runners recklessly sped through. I’m updating this post complete with video asap.
- You’ll also see the first ever Place of Last Drink survey results of DUI offenders who self-reported the bars or restaurants they last drank at before their arrest. Nearly half picked one of two bars.
My goal is to provide our community, local and state governments, police and the ABC with an aggregated source of information as to the levels of alcohol-related issues in PB. I invite you to add your comments to any post, email me privately with any feedback or ideas that might help me do a better job and to invite others who might find this information useful. Above all I need your feedback if you see anything that is misrepresented or dead wrong so I can maintain the level of integrity that I intend.
I’m not on a witch hunt after any business or governmental departmental office as much as my wanting to lay the facts out as I see them. As a disclaimer you should know I’m an especially strong supporter of our San Diego Police Department and increasing their budgets for both manpower and resources. I too, would love to see more manpower and resources for the ABC but, I’m not yet certain the overall State organization is on the same page as our Pacific Beach community in that their enforcement seems to be non-existent.
My overall intent is to provide reasonable people the evidence I believe would point towards a cessation of new alcohol licenses (four are in process), modifications allowing for transfers or significant expansions (about a dozen in process) of existing spaces (the same as adding a new license in my book) or, alcohol-centric events that promote the imbalanced alcohol-culture of Pacific Beach. I’m not against alcohol. I am feverishly against drunk driving as well as chronic and in my opinion careless over-serving of patrons. There is no way we can be yielding the numbers of arrests and citations – especially DUI’s – even with alcohol off the beach as you’ll see – without significant issues in the business district.
As you know, Pacific Beach is a diverse community of long-time residents including many families as well as a large group of younger people that are largely passing through. Not to mention that we are a key San Diego gateway to a magnificent beach and ocean – ready to host millions of visitors again this year. We should be providing a diverse environment to these millions of visitors but, I’m afraid the only thing we’re offering after 8 pm is a bunch of drunks completely disrespectful of our residents and guests. We lack a balanced number of venues to match the community’s demographics and this has all historically been imposed on us by the powers that be – regardless of the level of the community’s voice since at least the early 1980’s.
I hope you’ll use this site and would really appreciate any additional materials or information that would help support these goals. Please do join our newsletter in the lower right of any page so that you can keep in touch.
p.s. With St. Patrick’s Day this week and spring break upon us let’s honor the people that have been seriously injured or who have tragically lost their lives in Pacific Beach as a result of drunk drivers by doing everything we can to work towards a mutually agreeable solution. I really hope you’ll help as this is not my issue, it’s our issue.
Jerry HallAlcohol Culture in PB, Commentary, Drunk Drivers