Banning alcohol appears to be a bad way to keep the public safe on the river. One would think increasing the police presence is more appropriate, and making arrests when alcohol consumption obviously becomes an issue of public safety.
The tradition of having a brew while floating down the river is one cherished, and not abused, by many.
We need more cops on the river and in the Parkway (and have for years), not more restrictions on recreation.
Bill would ban summer holiday drinking on river
By Ed Fletcher - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, February 24, 2007
Sacramento County's ban of alcohol consumption on the lower American River during summer holiday weekends would be extended from the shores to the river under legislation introduced late this week.
In response to back-to-back July 4 weekends during which heavy boozing led to fights and arrests, late last summer Sacramento County officials banned alcohol consumption along the shores and strictly enforced open-container laws.
But the county has no authority to stop folks from drinking on navigable waterways. That's the jurisdiction of state government, and state law currently allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages on vessels, including rubber rafts.
Assembly Bill 951 by Assemblyman Dave Jones -- which appears to have bipartisan support -- would prohibit drinking alcoholic beverages or possessing an open alcoholic beverage container from Hazel Avenue to Watt Avenue on the three major summer holiday weekends: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
Jones, D-Sacramento, said the out-of-control behavior has to stop.