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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Sleeping in cars!

    In the August 4th edition of "OCEAN CITY TODAY" appeared an article about some visitors to Ocean City not arranging for accomodations but rather sleeping overnight in cars parked on the streets and alleyways. The article inferred, and this reader fully believes, that the recent RIOTS on the boardwalk, were to a great extent mainly caused by these "car dwellers". They come to the resort financially unprepared to bear the costs of staying at the resort, so they invent ways to lower the cost of their "vacation". I have seen instances where a room is rented to one or two people; and as soon as they check in 6 to 8 of their friends take up residence in the room. I know that the motels have a policy of charging extra for more that the initial renters of the room, but they certainly do not anticipate the establishment being overrun by these "non-paying guests". The hotels and motels are in business to make money, not to serve as hosts to no-paying "guests".

    Additionally there is a safety factor to consider. "Non-paying guests" lead to overcrowding of the establishment, and may cause safety issues were there to be a fire or some other disaster. Some off the staff of the hotels-motels are aware of the situation but remain silent because of the either implied or overt consequences of reporting the situation to the management. The management itself tends to be intimidated by these instances and is reluctant to report the situation to the police.

    City counsel has increased the fine for sleeping in cars from $25 to $100. But what good does this do if, as the article stated, the police are reluctant to press the "sleeping in cars" issue when there may also be involvement of drugs or firearms, let alone, in most instances the police being outnumbered.

    Increasing fines and penalties has absolutely no effect on the offenders who will be leaving the city in a few days and have no intention and no funds to pay the fines. Increasing the fines, which will not be paid, is akin to using a K-9 dog wearing a muzzle. While it may seem harsh incarceration seems to be the only remedy left to deter the "car dwellers". This will provide them a room in which to stay.

  2. #2
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    I couldn't agree more. Especially since $100 is still less than a night at many hotels/motels during the peak season.

    I've been to Ocean City twice this summer. And this year, I've seen the fewest amount of Police patrolling downtown Ocean City since I've been going down (over thirty years).

  3. #3
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    These guys are breaking the law and should be fined. Like you said they will leave and never pay the fine. They will never incarcerate them. What really needs to happen is for the police to get a warrant for their arrest for outstanding tickets, when they don't pay (oh and by the way increase the penalty to the average cost of one night's hotel stay!). The next time they are caught they will be hauled to jail to see a judge for an outstanding warrant. If the cops don't pursue the warrant then this may go on forever. If they do, word will get out that they are serious about the issue.

    Disclaimer: I am not an attorney but I have seen many COPS episodes!!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeMan View Post
    These guys are breaking the law and should be fined. Like you said they will leave and never pay the fine. They will never incarcerate them. What really needs to happen is for the police to get a warrant for their arrest for outstanding tickets, when they don't pay (oh and by the way increase the penalty to the average cost of one night's hotel stay!). The next time they are caught they will be hauled to jail to see a judge for an outstanding warrant. If the cops don't pursue the warrant then this may go on forever. If they do, word will get out that they are serious about the issue.

    Disclaimer: I am not an attorney but I have seen many COPS episodes!!!
    Better yet. Increase the penalty to double the average cost of a night's stay.

    But, without more police patrolling Ocean City, I don't see anything being enforced.

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