‘Instant Justice’ offers beach cleanup diversion to avoid July 4th fines

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SAN DIEGO — Beachgoers who receive certain types of non-traffic tickets before or on the Fourth of July holiday may be able to avoid convictions and fines through a City Attorney’s Office cleanup program called Instant Justice.

Under the program, participants are given an opportunity to pay a $40 fee and complete six hours of community service Thursday to avoid convictions and fines that are typically a minimum of $200, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

Offenses covered in the diversion program include those related to glass containers, open alcohol containers, consuming alcohol in public, littering, smoking in parks or letting dogs off leash in public. The program applies to infractions received a maximum of five business days ahead of Thursday at city beaches and parks in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla and Clairemont.

“This is a win-win program. Instant Justice gives tourists and locals alike who commit a minor offense over the Fourth of July holiday a second chance,” City Attorney Mara Elliott said. “Instead of traveling back to San Diego to face court and fines, they are afforded an opportunity to give back to our community and avoid a criminal charge on their records.”

Participants must report 9 a.m. Thursday to the Pacific Beach Shore Club, 4343 Ocean Blvd. They need their citation, a valid photo ID and $40 cash or a cashier’s check. Guests aren’t permitted, including children.

Last year, more than 50 people participated in the program, which is held collaboratively with the San Diego Police Department, Lifeguard Service and Department of Park and Recreation.

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