Alcohol ban causes low floater turnout

Sep 1, 2014 9:04 PM by Jason Atcho

The Sacramento River near Chico is traditionally the big draw on Labor Day but the numbers who turned out today and over the weekend are down from past years.

Just a few years ago, officials say they had over 10,000 people floating the river in just one day. Numbers have been declining since the alcohol ban on Labor Day weekend and this year they had about 500 all weekend.

Officials say even with the ban, everyone who was coming out to the river was having fun and enjoying themselves. Most importantly they were staying safe. Besides 3 citations for alcohol violations and 1 citation for an unregistered vessel, they've had no major issues. "We've had no assaults this weekend. No fights this weekend. No reported crimes this weekend. So when we're talking about dozens in years past to none this year, that's a pretty significant statistic," said Supervising Ranger Kirk Coon for California State Parks.

All the agencies involved budget for extra staff this weekend but with the lower numbers some non-essential personnel were sent home early. With rumors swirling about a float next weekend to avoid the alcohol ban, the patrolling agencies say they're already prepared to be out there and make sure everyone who comes to the river will also make it home safely.


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