Sauvie Island alcohol ban in effect
A seasonal alcohol ban is now in effect for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area.
The alcohol ban means no consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages, or consumable products containing alcohol on Collins Beach and Walton Beach, but not surrounding private beach areas.
The new state administrative rule was enacted in March by the Oregon Fish and Willdife Commission, after consideration of public input and testimony from ODFW staff and law enforcement agents.
"Over the last few years, OSP Troopers documented numerous Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) arrests, car crashes, increased medical responses, assaults, group fights, drownings, minors in possession of alcohol, ODFW staff safety and officer safety issues as a result of alcohol use on SIWA," an OSP news release states.
Collectively, Sauvie Island is patrolled by OSP, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
The alcohol ban will be in effect each year from May 1 to Sept. 30, with violations of the new rule punishable with a maximum penalty of up to
a year in jail and/or a $6,250 fine.
Just prior to the alcohol ban taking effect on May 1, law enforcement responded to a report of a nude man on Collins Beach on April 19, who assaulted another beach goer over a dog being off-leash.
It's unclear if alcohol was a factor in that case, but the reporting party indicated he was "held down and punched repeatedly by an irate beach goer," according to OSP.
At least two additional drowning deaths have taken place at beaches on Sauvie Island since May 2016.