Coaster Booze Ban Back on Table

Coaster riders may have to go dry after a series of alcohol-related incidents

Complaints about rowdy behavior and occasional drunken brawls last month have prompted North County Transit District staff to reconsider an alcohol ban on Coaster trains.

Transit board members rejected the blanket ban in May after a majority was hesitant to punish riders who imbibe responsibly but they are now considering a new proposal of solutions.

For many aboard the Coaster train home from San Diego Padres weekend games, the ride is a continuation of the night out, a place for drinking and having fun with friends. No alcohol is sold on board, but passengers currently may bring alcohol on the Coaster and drink it there. According to district security officials, half the Coaster complaints made during spring and summer months involve the use of alcohol. District officials were unable to provide the precise number of alcohol-related complaints.

The district's planning committee reconsidered the issue this week and is expected to send a proposal to the board Friday, in advance of its June 18 meeting, NCTD spokesman Tom Kelleher said. That proposal may be a reassertion of the ban or another solution.

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