PACIFIC BEACH, Calif. - Some longtime Pacific Beach residents say enough is enough. They're backing a proposal to get a handle on alcohol-fueled crime in their neighborhood.
"We definitely see there's a nexis between high crime and the concentration of alcohol licenses," said Scott Chipman who's lived in PB for more than 30 years.
He told 10News that he loves his community, including the businesses that thrive here. But he said scenes of drunken fights, people passed out in their cars and on the street and constant DUI's has to stop.
Chipman said it's time for some increased responsibility and he said that will come with better information.
"To find out how much crime is involving alcohol and how that is impacting our community," he said.
Chipman is proposing that San Diego Police start specifying whether an arrest or a citation involves alcohol. Armed with that information, he said the city can take concrete action to address the problem.
"We need a conditional use permit, we need a local land use policy, we need a fee structure that will allow us to get cost recovery for the police resources," he said.
Official figures back up Chipman's concerns.
The city of San Diego reports that PB is tied with the East Village for the most violent crimes between January and November of 2012. Figures from DUI checkpoints suggest a lot of the problem can be traced to overconsumption of alcohol. DUI arrests in PB always outpace other communities in San Diego.
"Yeah, it should be coded as an alcohol offense ... I mean they do the same thing for marijuana," said bar customer Jimmy Lester. He said Chipman's proposal is a good idea. But he also told 10News that consumption of alcohol shouldn't just be the responsibility of the bars.
"Alcohol in general is not the demon. The demon is people that get drunk and do stupid stuff," Lester said.
Chipman said he's gotten positive feedback from the police department on his proposal. Assistant Chief Boyd Long called it a timely and good idea.
10News tried to talk to bar owners and managers about this story, but they either didn't return our phone calls or they said they weren't available to comment.