Tomorrow is the start of Texas Week in Port Aransas. I want to welcome our Spring Break guests to town. I know that you want to relax, party, and have fun, so I thought I would offer a few tips on how to enjoy your vacation without leaving on probation.
Although our officers are here to help you when needed, I am sure that most of you would just as soon go about your vacation without being contacted by the police. The best way to avoid the cops is to obey the law and don’t draw attention to yourself.
Be respectful of our residents, neighbors, and other people who live, work and visit here, and you probably won’t meet our officers. You should familiarize yourself with and obey the local laws. Beach rules are posted at most access points. A complete list of city ordinances can be found at Cityofportaransas.org.
Most problems during Spring Break tend to involve alcoholic beverages -- more specifically, the over consumption of alcoholic beverages. If you don’t want to meet our officers, then don’t attempt to purchase, consume or possess alcoholic beverages if you are not at least 21 years old. If you are of legal age, don’t overindulge and don’t buy or give alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21. Most important, if you have been drinking, don’t drive.
The beach is a public road, and all traffic laws apply and will be enforced. The speed limit is 15 miles per hour, and you need a permit to park on the beach (available at convenience stores, IGA, city hall and beach vendors).
Passengers may ride in the bed of a pick-up truck while on the beach, but they must remain seated within the bed. You can avoid the cops by not clinging to roofs, hanging out the windows or riding on the Nerf Bars or tailgate.
If you drive recklessly, spin your tires, dig in or trench you will likely garner the attention of the police.
A local Spring Break tradition includes the exchange of beads Mardi-Gras style. A good way to get our attention is to stop traffic or approach vehicles driving on the beach to either give or get beads.
Small beach campfires are legal, but they must be kept out of the road, at least 50 feet from the dunes. Fires can be approximately three feet wide and three feet high.
A good way to see the inside of our jail is to steal the planks from the boardwalks for your fire. You can purchase firewood at many local stores or bring your own; however, you cannot burn pallets, furniture, or any lumber with nails.
It is a good idea to carry your state-issued ID. If you are contacted by the police, firefighters, EMS, lifeguards or other public official, please cooperate. We are here to keep you and the rest of the public safe.
Most minor infractions can be resolved with a warning or a simple ticket. People who overindulge, fight, steal, flee or commit other crimes are more likely to be contacted by law enforcement and less likely to enjoy their visit than those who don’t.
Scott Burroughs is the chief of the Port Aransas Police Department. Contact him at sburroughs@cityofportarans as.org or at 749-6241.