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Alcohol ban takes effect between May 1 and Sept. 30 each year in the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area.

KOIN 6 NEWS PHOTO - Sauvie Island in August, 2015. Boozers will be required to stay off the beach at Sauvie Island this summer.

Commissioners with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have banned alcoholic beverages between May 1 and Sept. 30 in the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area.

The ban takes effect this year, and is expected to be permanent.

In 2017, police officers arrested at least 17 people for driving under the influence of intoxicants as they puttered away from some of Sauvie Island's most popular beaches — including Collins, Walton, Willow Bar and North Unit.

About one-third of all DUII arrests made in Columbia County between April 1 and Aug. 3 stemmed from tipsy visits to the island, according to a press release.

"The last couple of years we've noticed a lot of issues… We've documented all of that. And it's got nothing but worse," ODFW spokesman Rick Swart recently told KOIN 6 News, The Tribune's media partner.

Sauvie Island's scenic sands lure up to 16,000 visitors a day during the peak season and more than 488,000 people total between May and September, which effectively overwhelms local law enforcement.

Oregon State Police troopers believe the ban will decrease the amount of crime as well as calls for emergency medical help.

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