Myrtle Beach courts prepare for influx of Bikefest arrests and t -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach courts prepare for influx of Bikefest arrests and traffic violators

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach says more police officers will be patrolling the streets during Bikefest weekend, which could mean more citations and arrests, so the city is preparing its courts in anticipation.

The Myrtle Beach Municipal Court will handle many cases, from DUIs to public intoxication, to speeding violations.

City Spokesperson, Mark Kruea said, "The weekend of the Atlantic Beach Bikefest, we've had a large concentration of pedestrians, vehicles in a fairly confined area, Ocean Blvd. for the most part, and just with the volumes, that may be an issue.

Kruea said the city plans to change the court hours, to keep things running smoothly and provide convenience for those that may have to appear before a judge.

Right now court bond hearings are scheduled for twice a day, Monday through Friday, but Kruea said starting Friday at 6 a.m., court bond hearings will rotate every 6 hours a day. 

Chief Judge Jennifer Wilson said offenders in jail will go before a judge sooner, and if possible, could be released earlier.

"We've gone to great lengths in terms of training, in terms of equipment, in terms of additional resources and personnel, and outside law enforcement officers to address the issues that arose last year," Kruea said, "So we will have a greater law enforcement presence in town for this event, hopefully those folks will have a nice easy time, but should it come to the ticket writing stage, our Clerk of Courts office will be ready."

Traffic violations will also be handled before a judge, they will also have the option to pay their fines immediately. Court of Clerk offices will remain open all weekend.

Kruea said the plan is not new to the city, but they felt it was more timely to make the change because of the influx of visitors coming to the area.

"Years ago, the Clerk of Courts office did run 24 hours a day for the most part. It's not something we've never done before. Over the last five or six years we gradually scaled it back, fortunately because we haven't needed a 24-hour-day operation.

Judge Wilson said traffic violators will not be arrested, but can be ticketed, and if those visiting from out-of-town would like to take of their traffic matters before they leave, this gives them a more convenient option, rather than driving back for a scheduled court date later.

"If you want to take care of it before you leave town, if you are a visitor you will have that opportunity because the Clerk of Courts office will be open around the clock," explained Kruea.

With the Bikefest law enforcement presence, Kruea said the city anticipates more arrests, but he adds hopefully the court operation hours will prevent court and jail overcrowding this weekend.

"We don't have another event like this one, it's unique in terms of the concentrations of people, vehicles in a small area, and in terms of the size, it's a huge crowd that comes to town, so we are prepared if we need to be, we rather never have to write a ticket, we prefer that everybody obey the laws," said Kruea.

Court bond hearings scheduled is as follows:
6 a.m.
12 noon
6 p.m.
12 midnight

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Memorial Day court bond hearing scheduled for 6 a.m. and 12 noon. Court of Clerks office will be open 24 hours a day for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and on Memorial Day, they will close at 12 noon.

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