Rye Police Chief Requests the Public’s Assistance to Halt Drinking at Local Beaches
Chief Kevin Walsh, the police chief of Rye, New Hampshire, has made an appeal to the general public for their assistance after a number of alcohol related, serious accidents have occurred this summer. Chief Walsh attributed the sharp rise in DWI incidences to a prevailing attitude among beachgoers that it is acceptable to drink alcohol on the beach. He is requesting help to reverse this new trend.
Local Rye resident, Tom Beamer, stated: “We like to come down at night and have a cocktail and dinner sometimes on the beach. (I know it’s illegal) but who’s going to know that that vodka and tonic isn’t just tonic?”
Chief Walsh states that beachgoers are burying their cups and bottles in the sand. When uniformed patrols are noticed, drinkers are using their cell phones to text one another up and down the beach that police officers are present.
Currently, there are nine, full time police officers working in conjunction with the Liquor Enforcement Division who patrol Rye’s beaches. Members of this special division state that they are finding this lackadaisical attitude is crossing all age groups.
In an interview with WMUR, Chief Walsh made the following statement:
“An example I saw was there were folks I saw, I'm 51, that were my parents’ age, that went over to warn the adult kids that the police are here and I ended up writing a couple tickets for open containers. It’s everybody's mentality that this is OK. It’s not OK.”
Walsh stated that this blatant lack of regard for the law has led to more than 50 citations being issued since the end of June, with an additional four citations being issued to individuals who were under the age of 21. There have been a total of eleven arrests for driving while intoxicated during this same time period, and seven of these arrests have involved serious accidents, bodily injury, and property damage.
Chief Walsh states that his biggest worry is the same as everyone else’s – that eventually a death will occur because of an intoxicated motorist. With more than 100 New Hampshire residents killed statewide in DWI related crashes last year, his fears are valid. His hope is that, by appealing to the public, visitors to Rye and its local residents will set an example for one another.
In Rye, a citation for having an open container is accompanied by a monetary fine of $62.00. Town officials are currently considering raising the amount of the fine to act as more of a deterrent.
In the state of New Hampshire, there is no quicker way to put an end to your summer fun than to be arrested and charged with a DWI. A first offense DWI conviction is classified as a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by monetary fines, the loss of your driver’s license, court mandated alcohol treatment, and a potential jail sentence.
While it might ruin your summer, a DWI charge does not have to ruin your life. If you have been charged with a DWI offense in the Commonwealth of New Hampshire, contact our law offices today to speak with an experienced NH DWI lawyer.