Many vacationers are heading to beaches to find relief from the July heat, but people who live in popular getaway spots want relief from partygoers. Summer vacation destinations like Montauk, New York, are starting to crack down on rowdy behavior that residents say plague their communities, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.
At the popular beach town, snarled traffic, fighting on the streets and drunk patrons stumbling from bar to bar have become a weekly ritual.
But last weekend, tighter controls were in effect. Locals met Tuesday to tell officials they'd had enough after a particularly wild Fourth of July weekend.
Police issued a total of 74 town code violations, 51 parking violations, 34 traffic tickets and made seven arrests Friday and Saturday. They responded to over 100 calls over the two-day period.
Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said the town's reputation is at stake.
"Montauk is really a beautiful place, but the character has changed so much and the drinking and the carrying on in the street has gotten out of hand," Cantwell said.
Tucked away on the tip of Long Island, Montauk prides itself for being a freedom loving, off-the-grid place, but in recent years, its popularity among well-heeled twenty-somethings from Manhattan has soared, and longtime residents want it to stop.
"It's like living in purgatory," resident Franz Preidel said. "You've got heaven on one side and hell on the other."
Preidel lives next door to the one of Montauk's most popular nightspots, The Sloppy Tuna.
"They clearly do not have the sanitary capabilities for the amount of people that they're drawing and they use any bush or anything they can find to relieve themselves," Preidel said.
Often times, he said, patrons flock to his front yard.
The friction between the two sides became all too clear when Preidel was heckled while CBS News cameras were rolling.
"You're unhappy with the noise volume? You're unhappy with the revenue that's coming into the town?" one beachgoer said.
Sloppy Tuna owner Drew Doscher said his establishment is fully compliant with the law and can't control what his clients do once they leave.
"We work with the police force, we work with the fire department, we work with the building code hand-in-hand to try to make sure we're doing things right," he said.
Doscher said his seasonal business injects up to $10 million every year into the local economy, creating hundreds of jobs.
Regardless, Cantwell said taxpayers are happy to pay the price to keep unruly behavior at bay.
"There's a balance for sure. I mean you want to grow an economy, you want to create jobs, but at the same time there's a limit," he said.
Until that limit is found, Montauk's identity crisis will continue.