SAUVIE ISLAND, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife has approved an alcohol ban at beaches and in wildlife areas on Sauvie Island between May 1 and Sept. 30.
“Problems with alcohol over the last two years have been increasing and it's time to reign this in,” said ODFW public information officer Rick Swart. “A small percentage of the people mess it up for everybody else.”
Sauvie Island neighbor Terry Barnes has lived off Northwest Gillihan Road since 1971. He said he’s lost count of the DUII crashes on and near his property.
“They're coming from the beach, they'll miss the corner over here,” said Barnes. “We've had LifeFlight land in that field, that field and that field.”
Barnes said he supports the ODFW’s proposal to ban alcohol.
“If it's going to save people's lives, I see no reason that it shouldn't happen,” Barnes said.
Before the ban was passed, on Feb. 28, neighbors packed the Sauvie Island Grange Hall to hear from ODFW and other agencies. Oregon State Police also supported the proposed ban.
“I know of a lot of drownings out here,” said OSP Sgt. Yvette Shepard, who used to patrol the island. “A lot of motor vehicle crashes, BUIIs, where they're boating under the influence of intoxicants.”
Others disagreed with the proposed rule including a man who wanted only to be identified as Daryl.
“You ever heard the expression ‘a hot day and cold beer?’” Daryl asked. “I drink, but I drink responsibly.”
Now that the rule has passed, it will go into effect May 1 of this year.