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Town Council Decides To Put Drinking Ban Up For Voter Referendum

June 29, 1985

DEWEY BEACH, Del. (AP) _ Alcohol can stay on the beach this summer, the Town Council decided Saturday, but the issue will be put to voters in the fall.

Dewey Beach is only town on Delaware’s shore that permits alcoholic beach parties, and a controversy arose after Delaware State Police were called to disperse a rowdy crowd during the Memorial Day weekend.

The town’s five commissioners voted 4-1 in a special meeting to ask voters Sept. 21 if the law should be changed.

Earlier, commissioners voted 3-2 against an immediate ban.

″I don’t feel personally that we should penalize the majority of Dewey Beach visitors because of the actions of a few people,″ said Commissioner Thomas J. Haley III. ″What we need is a get-tough policy, and we are starting alderman’s court,″ which enforces state and local laws, he said.

Commissioner John Guthrie, who supported a ban, argued that ″the only way to enforce our laws with the budget we have is to restrict drinking from the beach.″

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