The Dept. of Land and Natural Resources will be enforcing the no-alcohol rule again this Memorial Day weekend at Ahu O Laka, the Kaneohe sandbar, starting Saturday, May 28, through Monday, May 30.
The law prohibits possession, use or consumption of alcohol within the sandbar’s safety zone. The rule also prohibits anyone person under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or drugs from remaining in, or entering the safety zone, and prohibits disorderly behavior while in the safety zone.
Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers will be present at the Heeia Kea small boat harbor and at the sandbar to ensure compliance. They will also do outreach, including checks of operator permits, vessel registration and safety gear carriage requirements.
“Since implementation of the Ahu O Laka safety zone rule, accompanied by on-scene enforcement presence, holiday weekend conditions have been more peaceful and calm and families have said they felt safer to bring their children,” said Guy Chang, DOCARE Oahu Branch Chief.
“However, on other weekends, DOCARE has actively responded to complaints of large gatherings/parties with alcohol consumption and party atmosphere at Ahu O Laka. DOCARE officers have issued citations for unsafe boating violations, use of jet skis and a jetpack at the sandbar. Whenever there are large numbers of people, water and alcohol, and other motorized vehicles involved in a limited space, public safety is a matter of high concern,” Chang said.
The safety rule will also apply on the Saturday through Monday holiday weekends of Independence Day – July 2, 3 and 4; and Labor Day – September 3, 4 and 5.
The original three-year rule establishing a safety zone at the sandbar was in place from Labor Day weekend in 2012 until the Labor Day weekend in 2015. The rule was made permanent in May 2015.
For more information, map and text of the rule, click here.