If you're heading out to Sylvan Beach, be ready for increased police presence, cracking down on drinking on the beach. After several fights and stolen and destroyed property last year, authorities are taking the issue seriously. Our Katie Gibas spoke with village officials and full-time residents about whether or not the situation has improved.
SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. -- "Last year was brutal. It was brutal. There was a lot of drinking. There was a lot of fighting," said Elizabeth Wendler, a Sylvan Beach resident.
This year, the situation seems to have improved. Residents have worked with police and village officials to ensure an increased law enforcement presence. State police and sheriff's deputies patrol the beach regularly, ticketing open container offenders.
"This year, they've been a little bit stricter and there's a different feel. And I think that's why they're a little bit better behaved because they don't know when a trooper's going to come out and walk the beach," said Wendler.
Village officials say the message still isn't getting through to some beach goers. Forty people have been arrested in the last week for drinking on the beach.
"The biggest concern is that a lot of them are under age. They might be drinking while they're driving or they get dehydrated or they end up fighting and they get injured. It's just not a good day for anybody," said Joe Benedict, Sylvan Beach Village Administrator.
Even though authorities say the drinking seems to be under better control this year, they are continuing the stepped up patrols for the remainder of the season.
"A lot of them have the idea that, the misconception that if they put the alcohol in a plastic cup, they won't get arrested. They will. Or if they hide the alcohol under a towel, they won't get arrested. They will. The troopers have seen and the sheriffs have seen everything there is to see out there. They know all the tricks and you're going to get arrested," said Benedict.
The price for an open container ticket is a $200 fine and possible jail time.