Unpermitted Beach Party Creates Problems for Georgia Officials and Law Enforcement

Orange Crush, the annual party on Tybee Island, Georgia that usually attracts over 100,000 individuals over the three to four days that it takes place is, surprisingly, un-permitted. Permits are usually issued for events that are open to the public and that have special requirements, such as public safety, parking, and vending. Orange Crush, though part of it takes place on Tybee Island, is very loosely organized via social media and word of mouth, meaning there is no real organizer, and without any sort of organizational structure, it’s hard for the city to know who to contact.

With so many people attending, policing becomes a concern. However, because the event is un-permitted, Tybee Island is unable to properly requisition the staff necessary to ensure control and safety. Considering that, Tybee Island officials took the step last year of banning alcohol and amplified music, which resulted in a decrease in the number of alcohol-related arrests.  These rules led many individuals to say they would not attend without the alcohol ban being lifted, which city officials have agreed to do.

It will be important for anyone visiting Tybee Island to be aware of the changes to the law, as they are not permanent and will only cover the period of time that Orange Crush is scheduled to take place. Additionally, the police that are available are going to be cracking down on alcohol-related offenses, and unlikely to be forgiving in terms of tickets versus warnings.

The legal limit for blood-alcohol content in Georgia is 0.08 for anyone over the age of 21.  For individuals under the age of 21, the limit is 0.02. This “zero tolerance” limit is strictly enforced and is becoming more common across the country. Georgia has decided that anyone under the legal age to buy and consume alcohol should not be driving with alcohol in their system.

Additionally, law enforcement can charge an individual with driving under the influence if they believe they are under the influence of drugs or other substances, even if there is no alcohol in their system.

Cory Yager of Kohn & Yager, LLC, received his Juris Doctorate from the John Marshall Law School, where he graduated second in his law school class. He can be found on Facebook and YouTube.

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