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Weekend fundraiser exempt from Tybee alcohol, music ban

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) - A controversial alcohol and music ban takes effect on Tybee Island Friday, but there seems to be a loophole leaving one upcoming event unaffected.

The city placed a ban on loud music and open liquor containers in public, including the beach, sidewalks, boardwalks and parking lots.

The ban coincides with the annual Orange Crush celebration, which brings thousands of spring-breakers to the island. The often rowdy crowds have led to numerous arrest incidents in the past, including two shootings in 2015 alone.

But a suicide prevention fundraiser scheduled for Saturday is exempt from the ban because it's taking place on the pier and not on the beach. News 3 learned the permit was given by Chatham County, not Tybee Island, as the pier is technically county property.

Some believe Orange Crush is being unfairly targeted, but one councilman says the city's decision was not about selective enforcement. Barry Brown believes it is more about controlling behavior.

"If they (police) see someone totally unruly out of sort, black or white, they're going to either arrest them or tell them to go home," he said. "What is the problem actually? Is it the color of their skin or bad behavior just in general? I think it's bad behavior just in general."

Officers will be adding extra patrols on the beach for the next two weekends -- April 13 through 15 and April 20 to 22. Fines start at $200.

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