Sheriff’s department issued 22 citations to people violating social distancing laws

(File photo)

On Friday evening, April 3, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department issued 22 citations to people in North County beach cities who were said to be in violation of the county’s and state’s recently enacted social distancing policies.

The ticketing effort, referred to as “targeted social distancing enforcement,” was conducted between 5 p.m. and midnight in Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar, with neighborhoods selected based on community member complaints.

In a tweet, Sheriff Bill Gore said that some of the people cited were watching the sunset or having picnics near the beach.

“While we thank the public as a whole for their continued cooperation, there are some who choose to intentionally ignore the orders and congregate in groups of ten or more in parks, parking lots, beaches, locations deemed non-essential or other public spaces,” the department said in a press release.

Ticketed parties were said to be in violation of California Government Code Section 8665. Violations are considered misdemeanors. Convicted parties are subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or up to six months jail time, or both.

— Jennifer Van Grove is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune