Dollar Drink Night A Concern For Police, Officials In Dewey - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Dollar Drink Night A Concern For Police, Officials In Dewey

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DEWEY BEACH, Del. - For beaches across Delmarva, town officials and police are used to gearing up for those busy summer weekends.

However, in Dewey Beach, Tuesday nights are now getting their attention.

It's "Dollar Drink Night" at Northbeach, and not surprisingly a huge draw for partiers, and police.

"It affects public safety and I truly believe it's irresponsible although not totally illegal to offer dollar drinks," says Dewey Beach Mayor Diane Hanson. "It encourages people to binge drink."

Northbeach reportedly started the promotion a couple of years ago, but Mayor Hanson says it has started to spiral out of control.

Back on June 4th, a dollar drink crowd reportedly caused a big fight at a Lewes Wawa, resulting in three arrests and plans for the store to close early every Tuesday. Dewey Beach Police say that is not the first fight that has broken out either.

Now they are sitting down with a number of agencies, including Delaware State Police the state Fire Marshal's Office, and Northbeach employees to figure out how they can keep future Tuesday's from getting out of hand.

"We're on a week by week basis and we're trying to make sure that everyone is in agreement so everyone can get home safely," says Sergeant Cliff Dempsey with the Dewey Beach Police Department. "Our worst concern is if we can't handle the situation that has been presented to us. In this case, as it stands now, Northbeach is completely and 100% legal in everything they are doing."

However, regulating the crowds means more police patrol, which means more spending for the town. Mayor Hanson says they already put half of their yearly budget, $1.2 million, towards enforcement.

"Yet we have only 325 full-time residents and the town is one mile long," says Mayor Hanson. "Our police are very busy in summers on the weekends, but now they have to come in on Tuesday nights in addition to the strain on all our other resources."

Sergeant Dempsey says the situation has made it tough for staffing purposes, but he is confident with how they are handling the crowds and the progress they will make the rest of the summer.

Town officials say they are looking at a possible ordinance for promotions that cause a public safety concern for the town, but Mayor Hanson could not confirm exactly what is in the works since it is still in the early stages.

While she and other town leaders are planning for the worst, some residents are simply shrugging it off.

"I think the right was something that just happened, it wasn't good but it was handled well, and I think they're working on ways to improve it," says Chris Vogt, who has lived in Bethany Beach for 32 years. "You know it's gonna happen anywhere."

"It's a bar, it's Dewey Beach.

there are a lot of bars here, it happens," says Dre Miller, an employee at Wing's Over in Dewey Beach.

47 ABC reached out to Northbeach more than once for an interview about the story, but they said they did not want to make a comment or release a statement.

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