Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Parkway Drinking

The police were out in force, a rational response to trouble over the past few holidays, and order was maintained, and it appears it would have been with or without a banning of alcohol, a good thing for all.

Authorities keep party on the river toned down
New law to tame drinking along the American seems to help.
By Aurelio Rojas - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sacramento County Park Ranger Creston Aldridge peered out from Hagan Park in Rancho Cordova on Monday, past a spit of land on the American River that rafters call Gilligan's Island, toward a group of revelers docked on a shallow bank.

It was a glorious Memorial Day, warm enough to herald summer is near, and Aldridge was recounting how rangers welcomed visitors at Sunrise Bridge by reminding them of new, more restrictive, liquor laws on the river.

"Pretty much upstream, we've been telling them all morning," Aldridge said, pausing to point out a couple of miscreants as a fellow officer shouted on a bullhorn. "You see that group in their yellow raft? They're not complying."

For the most part, however, park visitors were complying with the letter of the law: it's OK to drink liquor on the water, but not along the parkway.

Since last summer, after alcohol-fueled rafters ignited more than fireworks for the second consecutive Fourth of July -- wielding oars with malice in a drunken melee that sent one man to a hospital and resulted in 20 arrests -- it's been illegal to drink along the American River Parkway during holiday periods.