TREASURE ISLAND — The new ban on alcohol on parts of Sunset Beach may be having the desired effect.
Despite warm, sunny weather, crowds were significantly smaller both Saturday and Sunday.
And unlike past weekends, there were no arrests and no incidents of underage drinking, disorderly intoxication or other misbehavior among beachgoers.
Instead, police issued 27 parking tickets, told drivers to put on their seat belts, and handled a minor traffic accident.
Police Chief Tim Casey reported that only seven groups had to be warned about the new ordinance banning alcohol on the beach.
"They were cooperative and advised they did not know about the change," Casey said in a report to the city manager.
Police estimated beachgoers congregating to the north and south of Caddy's totaled 450 on Saturday and 425 on Sunday.
On previous weekends, and particularly on holidays, that number reached into the thousands.
For more than a year, many Sunset Beach residents complained about the rude and obnoxious behavior among drunken beachgoers.
Last week the City Commission unanimously passed a ban on possession and drinking of alcohol on the portion of Sunset Beach between 99th and 85th Avenues between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
The ban does not apply to patrons of Caddy's restaurant as long as they remain on Caddy's property.