“We are committed to DUI enforcement. I am committed to DUI enforcement,” said Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight during a workshop at the Sarasota County Administration building.
However, when trying to determine ways of tackling intoxicated motorists, the issue of alcohol on beaches and parks has never come up, and the victim’s family wants to make it a priority.
“They were passing the buck back and forth between the Sheriff’s department and the county commissioners. I don’t think either one willing to take into accountability for what’s going on the beach,” said Denise MacPhail, whose sister Donna Chen died after being hit by a drunken driver on Jan. 7 while jogging on Siesta Key.
Donna’s family wants to push for a ban in hopes that another alcohol beach-related accident will not happen again.
“We have a petition to ban alcohol on beaches,” said Diane Eduardo, another of Donna’s sisters.
Accumulating over 3,000 signatures supporting a ban of alcohol on the beach, the sisters are ready to take action. Unfortunately, officials are not cooperating.
“It’s not illegal to sit and be intoxicated. It’s illegal to be disruptive and disorderly. That’s where we use state law,” argued Knight.
Unfortunately, county officials do not believe alcohol at public beaches and parks is a problem, so they have not devised a plan to ban it. But this isn’t stopping Donna’s family, who contend they will continue to lobby the public for support.
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Tags: Administration Building, County Administration, County Beaches, County Commissioners, County Officials, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Drunken Driver, Jan 7, Macphail, Motorists, Passing The Buck, Public Beaches, Sarasota Beaches, Sarasota County, Sarasota Florida, Sarasota Sheriff, Siesta Key, Signatures, Sister Donna, Tom Knight