We know that the yearly Go Topless Jeep confab at Galveston Bay, south Texas, is a fun gathering. But there are those who can’t control their compulsions that can kill an otherwise great Jeep weekend at the beach. In fact, double the number of arrested in 2019 we hauled in for various law violations.
By Sunday morning arrests were over 200. Around 12 of those arrested were for driving while intoxicated. Too bad those who can’t control their consumption put everyone else in jeopardy. And it is not like the partiers weren’t warned.
Galveston police put together extra measures to deal with the Jeep event
Galveston County police released statements about their efforts to curb issues like gridlock, more emergency services available, and more. Eight ambulances and a medical airlift were added this year according to Galveston County Daily News. Nurses were on site to test for DWI drivers and an assistant district attorney was helping with arrest arraignments.
Beaches around the country do their own Go Topless Jeep events. Last year the participants of the Jeep Jam at Panama City, Florida, raised over $20,000 for organizations like the local Boys & Girls Club. Over 10,000 participants attended that event.
There were 86 arrests in the first 24 hours of the Go Topless event
At the Go Topless event, there were 86 arrests in the first 24 hours of the gathering. Most of the arrests were for public intoxication or minors with alcohol. Again this year Galveston County Sheriff’s Office received extra funding to police the event.
Though more arrests were made this year it is better than in 2020 when two participants were shot. Attendees noted the amount of police in uniform which helped to control the crowd. More were in attendance this year than in 2020 probably due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Last year’s event made the news for the number of participants not wearing masks and following social distancing. Over 100 arrests were made that year. Afterward, 11,000 signed a petition calling for an end to the annual gathering.
The city prepares for the Jeep event as they would for a major holiday
The 32-mile long beach usually sees problems concentrated within a two-mile section according to Galveston County Sheriff Justin Ostermayer. Officials say it is as big of an event as major summer holidays. There is no organizing group but Go Topless is known to always be the weekend after Mother’s Day.
The city of Galveston prepared for some spillover from the event. There were temporary street lights and blocking some free parking areas as just some of the precautions taken on Seawall Boulevard. That is an area that usually sees car clubs gather at night.