Apr 1, 2013 9:31 PM by Katherine Worsham, KSBY News

Pismo Beach Police arrest 17 people during Cesar Chavez Day beach party

A day for honoring Cesar Chavez, the man who worked to gain rights for field workers in the 1960s, has brought thousands of college students to Shell Beach over the past few years to do one thing - party.

Many Cal Poly students, who had the day off from school, returned to Silver Shoals Beach for the unofficial party on Monday, but the crowd was not like those in years past.

A rainy start to the day helped keep the numbers down, but as the skies began to clear, more people trickled in.

Police brought in additional resources to help patrol the beaches.

Officers say there were no major incidents, but they did arrest 17 people for alcohol-related crimes, including public intoxication and possession of alcohol on the beach.

"There have been arrests made for public intoxication," said Commander Jake Miller of the Pismo Beach Police Department. "We have a zero tolerance for the alcohol on the beach because that is against the law."

Police say between 500 and 1,000 people showed up to the beach on Monday, but that's nothing compared to the more than 5,000 people who showed up in 2012.

The Pismo Beach Police Department says it is now preparing for an unsanctioned party believed to planned for April 20th.

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