New Beach Rules In Ocean City: What You Need To Know

OCEAN CITY, NJ — After drunken and disorderly teenagers descended upon Ocean City’s beach and boardwalk on Memorial Day Weekend, officials are implementing new measures to prevent it from happening again.

Thousands of teenagers flooded Ocean City, where there were fights, weapons offenses and eight even had to be hospitalized because they became unconscious from drinking, Police Chief Jay Prettyman said in a news conference according to Fox 29 Philadelphia.

There are many questions around these new rules, like how they will be implemented and who they will apply to. Here’s what you need to know.

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Emergency Meeting

City Council hosted an emergency meeting on June 1 where the new ordinances were introduced. They won’t go into effect until June 15, although nightly beach and bathroom closures were able to be effective immediately.

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Mayor Jay Gillian was upset by the raucous behavior of the youths over the holiday weekend, noting that they were spitting on people, including police and two bathroom attendants who quit on the spot, according to 6abc News.

But the rules aren’t just for teenagers.

“The law applies to everyone,” explained City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson. “It will be applied and enforced in a common sense way.”

For example, she said that a teenager would be stopped with a backpack under the new ban, but so would an adult carrying a diaper bag in a backpack. They shouldn’t believe they won’t be stopped just because they’re clearly not under 18, McCrosson said.

New Rules

Beach and bathroom closures are already in effect, as Gillian has the authority to do so. The rest have to be voted on at the June 15 City Council meeting.

Beaches will now close at 8 p.m. and boardwalk bathrooms will close at 10 p.m.

The curfew for those under 18 will be 11 p.m. now, instead of 1 a.m. It will apply to all public places and businesses, and applies to parents, guardians and caretakers as well who have knowledge of the curfew.

Exceptions are for youths at home or a property or sidewalk adjacent, supervised school or religious organization events and those traveling to and from work.

The backpack ban applies to bags larger than eight inches by six inches by eight inches and runs between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. It’ll be in effect from May 15 through Sept. 15.

Exceptions include medical devices, equipment for reporters and fishermen on the beach.

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Gillian also plans to introduce a ban on e-bikes on the boardwalk.


Local business owner Justice Vallaz said at the meeting that something needed to be done about the “debauchery” going on, but was hesitant about the bathroom closures.

The bathroom at his business is used “all night” he said, and feared that with the ban, guests would instead urinate on the side of the building.

He also said that the business does generate revenue after 11 p.m., and hoped that those “who are safely enjoying the boardwalk” could continue to shop.

Further Reading

999 Emergency Calls Spark Beach Crackdowns In Ocean City

Police Get More Power To Stop Teen Gatherings In Ocean City

Ocean City Residents Worry About Teen Beach Gatherings

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