Alcohol Citations Reach Record Levels

The Beach Enforcement Team, which is made up of one sergeant, eight deputies and a traffic deputy, had its busiest summer on record in Malibu.

A hot summer brought large crowds to Malibu beaches, leading to a record number of alcohol on the beach and parking citations, according to Malibu's Beach Enforcement Team.

From June to September, the beach team issued 2,379 citations for alcohol on the beach this year compared to 1,985 in 2011.

"This summer was hot, really hot in the valley so therefore people chose to go to the beach," said Sgt. Fray Lupian, who heads the team and is assigned to the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station. "Some people know it's not OK, and some people do know that they can't drink there, but they take a chance."

The team is made up of eight deputies, a sergeant and a traffic deputy. Six of the deputies are assigned to Zuma Beach, while others are sent to "pocket beaches," such as El Matador Beach, Surfrider Beach and Corral Beach, according to Lupian.

The deputies, which received additional training this summer from a veteran deputy, were armed with alcohol screening devices, which have been in use for the last three years.

"Each team has an alcohol screening device. They wave it over the drink and it shows if it is positive or negative for alcohol," Lupian said. "... People do get defensive about you putting your nose in their beverage."

The team also saw an increase in the number of parking citations issued. This year 4,682 tickets were written compared to 4,122 in 2011. The numbers do not include tickets written by Secural, which was hired by the City of Malibu to help with enforcement.

Lupian also said he hired a motorcycle deputy with a good track record for actively writing tickets to monitor traffic along the popular beaches.

"I can have a motor just sit on a corner and watch traffic go by, or I can have a motor actively go around and look for violations," he said.

Just having a presence at the beaches helped to make sure there were no major incidents this summer, according to Lupian.

"People see us at the beach. I tell my deputies, 'You've just got to go around, be visible,'" Lupian said. 

He said the purpose is to make sure Malibu beaches are family friendly.

"People do thank us for it. It's a family oriented beach," Lupian said.

He said that because of the high volume of people coming to the beach, he noticed trash cans overflowed quickly.

"The more volume the people you have, the more trash you are going to have. That's just a given. There was trash. It's not because people were dirty. Obviously some people leave their trash there," Lupian said.

Here are all the stats for the Beach Enforcement Team:

2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 Hazardous Traffic Citations 2,176 1,954 2,294 1,368 1,749 1,835 Non-Hazardous Traffic Citations 266 270 233 118 82 70 Parking Citations 4,682 4,122 4,196 2,956 2,069 2,500 Towed Vehicles 440 412 856 702 465 537 Alcohol on the Beach Citations 2,379 1,985 1,760 1,908 1,591 1,764 Smoking on the Beach Citations 4 17 19 30 11 25 Miscellaneous Misdemeanor Violations 30 35 23 49 52 77 Miscellaneous Infraction Violations 73 107 39 93 54 28 Miscellaneous Felony Violations 7 7 2 0 0 0 Warrants 35 20 0 0 0 0 Felony Arrests 7 7 2 4 1 4 Misdemeanor Arrests 53 35 23 11 9 14 Lost Children Reunited 258 71 62 19 17 23
Barrie Livingstone October 05, 2012 at 01:57 PM
This is an incorrect list and indicative of the way the police and state treat Malibu...as a cash cow. It takes no consideration to the weather conditions and the sheer number of police out there and the constitutionally questionable legalities of road blocks on PCH every Friday night. One lady sitting in the back of a taxi was pulled over and arrested and detained over night in Agoura. She was sitting in the back of a taxi how can this be allowed it is very scary? This has been the warmest and longest heat wave in the past decade so of course there have been record numbers of visitors and drivers along PCH and all our roads. The city and bankrupt state has seized this as a cash making opportunity. There is now a private company issuing parking tickets on behalf of the city and the road blocks and police presence has been very disturbing. As I sat one Sunday morning outside at Coogies there were 2 motorcycle cops continually pulling people over. We were dizzy at the amount of times they passed us and i lost count at 22 in a 1 hour and 20 minute period. Its ironic that in the eyes of the county that Malibu does not deserve its own police station because they "cant afford it" yet they milk its residents and visitors for cash at any and all opportunity A very troubling fact for all of our safety as when there is a problem there is obviously a very delayed response which could in turn endanger lives. It should be demanded that we have a police station.
Hans Laetz October 05, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Barrie, the cops sit at Coogie's because it's a safe place to do their work. They only stop cars that egregiously speed down that hill, always in excess of 55 mph on the radar. My wife was seriously injured in a rear-ender on a similar downgrade hill in Malibu. She suffers back pain to this day caused by a motorist who thought it was safe to go 60 in the 50 zone. She was in the right lane and a car in front of her was slowing gradually for a right turn. Bam. I have had it with speeders and tailgaters and if the county sheriffs think the best and safest place to catch the most speeders is at the bottom of that hill, GO FOR IT. There is no constitutional question whatsoever about the legalities of drunk driver checkpoints, you may not like them, I may find them distasteful. But the SCOTUS says they are constitutional. Those cops are in Malibu because our city asked them to be here. Good. I wish there was DUI checkpoint near the Cove on weekends, too, but that would really snarl things, I suppose. The solution to avoiding a ticket on PCH is so very simple. Slow down, hang up, stop texting. And have a great day ...
Lorelei Shark October 05, 2012 at 03:18 PM
There are lots of cops out there just waiting to catch anyone, doing anything, to get their citation quota for the day. They sneak and hide and are out in inappropriate numbers, considering the number of cars on the road in Malibu. I have a new car, which unlike my old car, starts rolling when I take my foot off the brake. I wasn't aware of this, until I was stopped for making a rolling stop, at the stop sign at Webb Way & Malibu Road. Thanks to this officer, I now have this life saving information :-( By the way - it took me one hour to get from the 10 freeway at PCH to Sunset, one afternoon, because of a road block set-up which only allowed one lane of cars on PCH. In the middle of the friggin day! They have no consideration for people and our time. It's becoming a police state.
Susan Tellem October 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
As a former Public Safety Commission member, I am stunned that anyone who lives here would object at the police presence, DUI checkpoints or number of tickets. Come on - there have many deaths and serious injuries (as Hans mentioned his wife) on this highway. The Commission has begged for more cops, not fewer. Just the other day, we witnessed a small car that drove underneath the back of a pickup - obviously the driver was texting or not paying attention as no brakes were applied. No one in my family has ever gotten a ticket in Malibu. We obey the laws. Period. But let's not lose sight of the headline on this article. "Alcohol citations are up." Everywhere we turn merchants are asking to sell alcohol - Circle K, Erewhon, etc. We do not need more alcohol sold. We need less.
Jessica E. Davis October 05, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Just to be clear, I obtained the stats in the table in this article directly from a report presented by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to the Malibu Public Safety Commission.
TOPTOBU October 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I agree 100%!. Let's stop Circle K at the City Council meeting on Oct. 22, 2012. The City Attorney and the Planning Commission are in favor of denying the appeal. The community has been fighting this for over 5 years! Enough is Enough! STOP CIRCLE K!!!!!
R Y A N October 05, 2012 at 10:42 PM
The market is a logical sales location for alcohol when compared to gasoline stations or florists. That said, the wine-tasting events, and actual serving, do promote the culture and sale of alcohol. So if you're against the bombardment of alcohol-promoting advertising, events, sponsorships, and now tastings at a neighborhood market, that is a reasonable opinion. My concern is for those persons in recovery being offered alcohol at a local market they need to patronize for basic food. The 80% relapse of initial treatment-seekers is at stake.
Alessandra DeClario October 06, 2012 at 03:39 AM
This part I like the best: Lost Children Reunited 258
Alessandra DeClario October 06, 2012 at 03:46 AM
And I agree that there is too much emphasis on alcohol... there already are a lot of places to obtain alcohol in Malibu ... a lot of places patronized by Pepperdine students. Don't drink and drive isn't just a "cute saying". I was hit and run by three cars coming from a Pepperdine party house on a private Malibu street... my Great Dane killed. I later learned from MADD that people on alcohol or drugs (legal or otherwise) head for light. Had I known that I would have thrown the searchlight I was holding across the road! So, I certainly agree with curbing the sale of alcohol... this includes Circle K... within a few minutes from that location are several places to buy alcohol. I was surprised that Erewhon asked for wine tasting (no matter how restrictive). I think we have to address that again....
Treat others as you want to be treated. October 14, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Completly agree with you!


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