PBSO deputies enforce Peanut Island alcohol ban, issue warning cards for Memorial Day holiday

Deputies make 6 BUI, 7 underage drinking arrests

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - Peanut Island is always a hot spot for Memorial Day and the festivities were welcomed with a new ordinance banning alcohol.

Effective May 18th, drinking alcohol on Peanut Island is forbidden without a permit.

"I like to have a beer. I know a lot of people out here like to have a beer and I think the ordinance should be enforced for those who are breaking it," said Patrick McElwee, a Peanut Island visitor.

The frustration from visitors like McElwee is common. Throughout the holiday weekend, Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies looked for violators. If caught, violators could find themselves fined $500 or in a pair of cuffs.

"If we have to affect arrests in the near future to ensure other people's safety, then that's what we have to do," said Captain Robert Allen, PBSO Marine Patrol.

Allen said right now when they see someone out on Peanut Island violating the newly enforced alcohol ordinance, they will be given a warning card instead of a ticket.

"We ask them, tell them, and then we make them. We will give everybody a few opportunities to get in line," said Allen.

PBSO said most were understanding of the warnings.

On the busiest day, Sunday, deputies arrested six for B.U.I. and seven for underage drinking.

"I don't mind them out here, in fact I like the sheriff (deputies) out here. But like I said, it's the people who are out here truly causing the problems," said McElwee.

In the meantime, visitors have to be standing in the water in order to drink alcohol.

PBSO anticipates the warning period of the ordinance enforcement to end for the July 4th holiday.

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