Fines rasied at Dewey Beach

July 30, 2009 4:13:12 PM PDT
Misbehaving is becoming a much more expensive proposition at one of the area's most popular beach resorts.At Dewey Beach, thousands come to enjoy the surf and sun, but when they do they better bring only nonalcoholic beverages, and when they leave they better toss their trash behind, because now lifeguards are not only keeping an eye out on swimmers, they're also ticketing alcohol drinkers and litterbugs for the first time.

"Obviously, people don't like getting tickets, most of the people that we do issue the tickets to say they didn't know, but there are signs posted on every dune crossing," lifeguard Chris Muscara said.

One of those same signs, filled with rules but no mention of citations, was posted Memorial Day when fines for littering and alcohol were $50, with another $50 tacked on for court fees. In June, town leaders hiked those fees to $200, plus the $50 for court costs.

As you can imagine the hefty fines are getting mixed reviews from beachgoers around here. Most people like the idea of having clean alcohol free beaches, but a lot of folks say that $250 fine leaves them with a sinking feeling.

"I think it is a steep fine. I know Dewey Beach is looking for additional revenue, however, I am very opposed to all the littering," Ava Cannon of Rehoboth said.

Alleged violators do have the option of fighting their citation in court but so far most have opted to bury the past, and pay the fine.