OCEAN CITY, N.J. - Voters in "dry" Ocean City on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to permit consumption of alcohol by patrons in local restaurants, which would have been a first in the Jersey Shore resort's 125-year history.

About 3,200 of the 4,600 people who voted - more than the number who showed up in the November election here - said no to a ballot question that sought to permit the practice called BYOB, ending the town's ban on bringing beer and wine to eateries. Liquor sales are not permitted in the beach town.

Proponents had said the measure would help invigorate Ocean City's flagging restaurant industry. But a residents group opposed to the measure said it was concerned that allowing BYOB could permanently destroy the town's wholesome reputation as the self-styled "America's Greatest Family Resort."