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State enforcing booze ban at Kaneohe sandbar this weekend

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:09 p.m. HST, May 22, 2014

The state is reminding the public that it will be enforcing a ban on alcohol at the popular Kaneohe sandbar this Memorial Day weekend.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said rules prohibit the possession, use or consumption of alcohol; loud, abusive or disorderly conduct; and the presence of persons under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or non-prescription drugs at the popular sandbar.

"The state continues to act to support public safety and respect for Ahu o Laka as a unique natural resource and cultural area," said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson in a press release. "We have listened to the concerns of families and responsible boaters in striking a balance that applies needed rules and enforcement to three summer holiday weekends, which were historically the times when there were larger crowds, and when drinking and unruly behavior caused more disturbances." 

The ban on alcohol during three-day weekends first took effect in 2012 in the wake of the death of a 26-year-old man who was involved in a fight at Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor.

Enforcement officers will patrol both on the water and in He'eia Kea small boat harbor throughout the weekend. Violators may be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 or $50 for each violation, in addition to administrative fines, fees, costs and damages. 

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