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Alcohol Ban In Effect At Six State Recreation Areas

Justin G. Coleman
Creative Commons
Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has reimposed a temporary ban on alcohol at six state parks and forests this summer. The affected recreation areas are:

  • Gardner Lake State Park, Salem
  • Paugussett State Forest (upper section)/George Waldo State Park, Southbury
  • Wadsworth Falls State Park, Middletown/Middlefield
  • Lake Waramaug State Park, New Preston
  • Quaddick State Park, Thompson
  • Beach Pond Boat Launch, Voluntown, as well as the portion of Pachaug State Forest, within 500 yards inland from the Beach Pond shoreline.

DEEP has issued the ban after seeing higher rates of misconduct from larger crowds in past summers.
“We’ve had over the last few years, reports of misconduct happening in these locations,” said DEEP spokesperson Will Healey. “Just a kind of unruly behavior that has been fueled by alcohol use.”

Healey said authorities have had to halt some boating trips because people have been intoxicated. 

“Our environmental conservation police have had to terminate voyages because people are under the influence,” said Healey. “There have been a couple of DUIs as well in some of these parking areas. And very recently, actually, we had someone slash someone’s tires, so we had an arrest for criminal mischief.”

Healey said the ban is a tool to make parks “safer and more family-friendly.”

“People expect to come to state parks and state forests to find peace in the outdoors, to have fun, and that’s an experience that we’re trying to give,” he said.

Though the ban will be in place until Aug. 25, the state will continue to monitor the situation.

For more information, visit DEEP’s website.

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