I.V. Beach Booze Ban

With a second coming of last month’s infamous Floatopia-the impromptu boozed-out beach bonanza that invaded Isla Vista in early April-set to go down on May 9, the Santa Barbara County supervisors made a preemptive strike this week and unanimously approved a temporary ban on open alcohol containers along the sandy shores of I.V. The hope is, with oceanside libations now outlawed, the lofty plans for Floatopia 2 will be deflated. When more than 10,000 party people turned out on April 4 for the first Floatopia, authorities and the beach’s infrastructure were caught off guard. In the end, a dozen students ended up in the hospital, many more were issued citations, the beach was left grotesquely littered, and the county was left footing a roughly $20,000 bill for overtime. Now, with a Facebook invitation claiming to have garnered nearly 12,000 guests for this weekend’s sequel, the County Sheriff’s Department and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol came to the supes asking for help. (That invitation has since been rescinded by would-be organizers, but many familiar with I.V. culture say droves may still show up.) According to Foot Patrol Lt. Brian Olmstead, in addition to the booze ban, authorities plan to have 40 deputies, an offshore marine unit, and multiple ambulances ready and waiting to prevent a drain on emergency services for the rest of the county. The cost, says Olmstead, will be right around $50,000. The ban, which officially applies to the beach below Del Playa, is effective immediately and will expire in six months, though alcohol will be allowed for individuals or events who get a special permit from the county.

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