Mailbag: DUI stats should guide policy

June 22, 2011

We do not need more bars in downtown Huntington Beach ("ABC officials approve license," June 9). Our crime and DUI rates are off the charts. The taxpayers have to pay for the law enforcement costs. So, why did these folks protest the license? It's not because they had nothing better to do, but because they recognize the following pattern downtown:

1) Open a family/neighborhood restaurant.

2) Acquire a liquor license.

3) Realize most of the crowd on Bourbon Street (Main Street) are there to drink.

4) Restaurant begins to fail because it is not the "nightclub" hot spot.

5) Owner acquires an entertainment permit to improve business.

6) Restaurant morphs into a bar/nightclub to make ends meet.


7) Restaurant owner doesn't like running a club and sells the business to an experienced nightclub operator.

8) New owner acquires both the liquor license and the entertainment permit in the purchase and turns the site into a full-fledged nightclub.

How do we allow good restaurants to open downtown and prevent them from turning into a nightclub? Our policy makers need to place restrictions on the licenses to prevent this from happening. The 195 people killed or injured in HB in 2009 from DUIs is unacceptable. A policy change is in order here to allow restaurants to open but to prevent the nightclub morph from taking place.

Angela Rainsberger

Huntington Beach


Blame visitors more than vendors

Regarding "ABC officials approve license," June 9:

A few weeks ago, Mayor Joe Carchio sent a letter to downtown bars and restaurants with "proposed" and "voluntary" suggestions that he strongly suggests they "consider." However, we need Carchio and the voting majority of the City Council to take real measures to change the mindset of downtown patrons.

As downtown residents will tell you, the restaurants and bars are a small part of the problem. In reality, it is the patrons who come to party in our neighborhood who cause the problems. We need action, not lip service intended to make it sound like he is doing something.

Here are a few things that will impact the mindset of visitors:

1) Set up alcohol checkpoints on main thoroughfares exiting the downtown area on a regular basis.

2) Deploy a pair of police officers on bicycles to patrol the neighborhood on Friday and Saturday nights.

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