Got a July Fourth ticket at the beach? SDPD offering 'instant justice' option

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Police are offering an "instant justice" option for holiday rule breakings at select San Diego beaches and parks this weekend.

Police will be out in force making sure residents and visitors are enjoying the county's beaches safely this July 4 holiday. In doing so, those who break the city's alcohol and smoking laws at beaches.

Enter the "instant justice" program.

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The option allows those who receive a non-traffic citation on or before July 4 to pay $40 and clean the beach for six hours. In exchange, those ticketed won't face further charges or fines.

Citations covered include:

  • Open alcohol containers, 
  • Consuming alcohol in public, 
  • Glass containers, 
  • Littering, 
  • Dogs off leash, and 
  • Smoking in the park.

(A previous version of this story included citations for motorized scooter infractions. SDPD has said these will not be covered.)

Most of those citations carry a $200 fine, so the option is sure to give people pause. It's the city's second year offering the program.

The program applies to infractions at city beaches and parks in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla and Clairemont.

Those who want to participate in the program will meet at PB Shore Club in Pacific Beach (at 4343 Ocean Boulevard) on Thursday at 9 a.m. Participants will have to bring their citation, valid photo ID, and $40 cash or a cashier’s check.

"This is a win-win program. Instant Justice gives tourists and locals alike who commit a minor offense over the 4th of July holiday a second chance," City Attorney Mara Elliott said. "Instead of traveling back to San Diego to face court and fines, they are afforded an opportunity to give back to our community and avoid a criminal charge on their records."

Guests or children are not permitted. Anyone who doesn't choose the program will have to appear on their scheduled arraignment date in San Diego Superior Court, as stated on the citation.

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