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Deputies prepared for underage drinkers over spring break
By: Leslie Rangel, KFDM
The cold weather and fog didn't scare away beach goers looking to enjoy the first day of spring break.
Galveston County deputies expect large numbers to invade beaches on the Bolivar Peninsula.
But, this year, deputies say they'll have more eyes on the sand and water.
It's no surprise that every year since Hurricane Ike, more homes have been rebuilt on the beach and the Bolivar Peninsula is attracting more people.
But, with more people, comes more young partiers that sometimes take a risk in drinking alcohol before the age of 21.
In 2012, 14 people were ticketed for underage drinking. Last year, 252 were ticketed.
It's nearly 20 times the number of violators, deputies attribute it to bad weather.
Teens along Crystal Beach is a given when you think of spring break.
But, some spring breakers are partying in a different way.
A time where deputies say extra patrols will be looking out for underage drinking.
"It's going to happen, everybody does it, even the sheriff that's back here pulling people over I promise you he drank when he was littler," C.T. Berryhill says. He's been coming to Crystal Beach for spring break the past 3 years.
These beach goers admitted to underage drinking.
"I've been doing it since I was 16 and I know how to control myself I'm not a wild drunk and I feel like I can take care of myself going out and drinking," Victor Simmons says.
They say they're not worried as long as they drink responsibly.
"I don't get in any vehicles, I stay where I am," C.T. said.
"You gotta know when to stop and not to go to far with it..." Victor said.
Last year Galveston county deputies issued more than 250 citations for underage drinking. Seven minors were arrested.
"It's a risk that comes with it, you just got to take what you're given, if you do get caught," C.T. said.
"I'm not even 21, I don't turn 21 until next month, but I'm closer than they are," Victor said.
"I mean it's just a ticket, it comes with it, we're just living," C.T. said.
Deputies say charging a minor with underage drinking is a class c misdemeanor which means they get a ticket and a $250 fine. Still, this year they expect to have about half a dozen extra units patrolling the beaches.