“Please be advised that anyone involved in underage drinking will be arrested, charged criminally and removed from our beaches,” the department said in a release. “There will be no warnings given and no excuses will be tolerated.”
Just last week, Cape May joined Atlantic City and other shore towns in allowing open containers in hopes of giving bars and restaurants additional business during the pandemic.
Cape May police say the underage drinking complaints have been coming in the last few weeks, which means they started before open containers were approved.
Police never said the two are related.
But on a recent episode of KYW In Depth, Cape May Councilman Zack Mullock told KYW Newsradio that as officials were weighing the pros and cons of open containers, underage drinking was a concern, as well as the added responsibility that open containers would put on police.
“The first kind of 99 percent of that alcoholic beverage control is from the business itself,” he said, referring to how this is usually handled each summer. “It’s only like that one percent when they have to call on the police and have someone take care of that issue. When alcohol becomes everywhere, now it’s basically the police. You don’t have that staff in place that’s taking care of the other 99 percent. So I think police are going to have to be involved in this highly.”
Cape May police are hoping parents get involved too.
“Please speak with your children or young adults about the serious consequences a criminal arrest can have,” the department’s release said.
Police say most of the youth involved are local residents.