Fort Myers Beach Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros made that suggestion earlier this month at a town council meeting. Council members were having a discussion about the bicycle fatality on Estero Boulevard that was caused by an alleged drunk driver.
Hosafros suggested the town public safety committee look into the last two fatalities on the beach and find out where people were getting their alcohol before the accidents occurred. “It could be that we have an establishment on the beach that’s over-serving, and if that’s the case, then our Nuisance Abatement Board would come into play.
The town created a Nuisance Abatement Board back in September of 2020 following the murder of 22-year old Johnny Jackson at the Lani Kai. The Nuisance Abatement Board was created to consider cases that involve crimes such as murder, drug dealing, gang activity, illegal gambling, prostitution and assault. And, there needs to be two reports of such activity in a 6-month period.
There’s nothing in the ordinance the says the town can go after businesses for serving alcohol. In fact, that’s exactly what some of the business owners objected to when the NAB was first being considered. There has not been a need for the board to meet to consider any cases yet.
Hosafross said both of the recent fatalities have involved alcohol and she also wants LCSO to look into instituting sobriety checks. “I’m wondering if we need to ask the Sheriff to start performing some kind of weekend stops on the island, especially during season. They do have a method where they stop every third car just to ascertain whether people appear to need to have a sobriety test. It doesn’t really slow down traffic when it’s already not moving. They only pull people out if they ascertain that might be a need.”
At a future meeting the town hopes to hear from LCSO on the issue.
Mayor Ray Murphy said we need more lighting on Estero Boulevard. “We’ve predicted these fatalities and they’re coming now.”
Hosafross added, “While were trying to do good things for safety with lights, our over-riding problem may be with alcohol when it comes to accidents on the beach.”
31-year old Cape Coral resident Jorge Rivera is accused of drunk driving in the death of a 54-year old woman from Michigan while she was riding her motorized bike on Estero Boulevard after dinner on January 27th. Rivera is scheduled to be arraigned before Lee County Judge Robert Branning on February 28th at 8:30AM.