Seasonal alcohol ban approved for Sauvie Island Wildlife Area - KPTV - FOX 12

Seasonal alcohol ban approved for Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

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Sauvie Island (KPTV file image) Sauvie Island (KPTV file image)

A seasonal alcohol ban has been approved for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The ODFW commission voted unanimously Friday to implement an annual alcohol ban for Sauvie Island public spaces from May 1 through Sept. 30.

The proposal was discussed at a public meeting last month.

ODFW proposed the ban during the timeframe when people using the beaches is typically at its peak, with more significant alcohol-related problems.

ODFW reported an increase in alcohol-related issues over the past several years, despite increased law enforcement, which included saturation patrols.

Oregon State Police statistics showed that 36 percent of DUII arrests in Columbia County involve people traveling from the beaches. Last year, 17 people were arrested for DUII leaving the area.  

Other issues have included vandalism and people tearing up the fields with their vehicles.

For the past five years, the number of visitors to the beach area annually from May through September is estimated at approximately 488,465 people. During periods of hot weather, the number of people on the beaches can be more than 16,000 in a day, exceeding the capacity of emergency services personnel to effectively respond to all the alcohol-related problems.

The seasonal alcohol ban was approved unanimously by the ODFW commission.

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