Drinking on the River

It is a great Sacramento-summer-on-the-river tradition and the banning of it during holidays on the American River is policy we did not support five years ago when it was implemented

The better alternative for controlling the abuse of legal drinking is not to ban it, but to better police it.

Punishing everyone for the misbehavior of a few is not good policy.

That being said, the results from this year’s efforts were reported in the Sacramento Bee.

An excerpt.

“Titus Cannon did a quick inventory before he hit the American River on Wednesday to join thousands of others for a July Fourth rafting trip.

“Red Bull? Check.

“Water? Check.

“Chips? Check.

“Booze? Not a drop.

“Cannon, a 21-year-old Sacramento State recreation major, was joining friends Ryan Smith and Hannah Robinson for a downstream trek from the Sunrise access point to William Pond Park, and none seemed to mind the alcohol ban in place now during the summer holidays.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Smith, a 21-year-old criminology major at CSU Sacramento. “Usually, you wouldn’t catch me on the water on a holiday anyways. It’s smart.”

“Authorities banned drinking on the river during summer holidays five years ago between Hazel and Watt avenues, and the message appears to be getting across.

“This is beginning to form a trend,” said Timothy McElheney, a Sacramento County park ranger who was at theSunriseaccess point asking rafters for a peek inside their coolers and rafts. “People are getting the message.”

“In years past, it was common to see rafters who were inspected by law enforcement pouring out their precious cases of beer and wine coolers or trudging back to place them in their vehicles before hitting the water.

“On Wednesday, there were few such incidents.

“We had a couple people trying to sneak beer in, but we just sent them back to their car,” Chief Ranger Stan Lumsden said as he oversaw operations at theSunriseaccess point, where most rafters launch.

“We’ll migrate down the river later and kind of follow the problems,” Lumsden added. “But I don’t think we are going to have as many this year, because I’m seeing a lot of families.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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