MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — At Wadsworth Falls State Park, you can see wildlife, water, and nature on full display, but one thing you won’t see this summer is alcohol.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reinstating a temporary alcohol ban at seven state recreational areas for the summer.
“It just gives our officers an extra tool to help keep our parks safe from the people and the people safe while they are in the parks,” EnCon police officer Elise Bouthillier said.
Those seven recreational areas with the booze ban are:
• Gardner Lake State Park in Salem
• Paugussett State Forest in Newtown
• George Waldo State Park in Southbury
• Lake Waramaug in New Preston
• Quaddick State Park in Thompson
• Beach Pond State Boat Launch in Voluntown
• Billings Lake State Boat Launch in North Stonington
• Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown
“I think it’s a good idea because a lot of people have to get into a car afterward to drive back to wherever they are going. So, I think it’s going to reduce drinking and driving,” Joann Caruso of Wolcott said.
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In recent summers, DEEP officials say they’ve seen increased issues of misconduct, unruly behavior, property damage and littering – all linked to alcohol use.
“This ban just enables us to keep our parks safe and clean and family-oriented,” Bouthillier said.
But some long-time parkgoers say they’ve never seen alcohol become an issue at state parks and disagree with the ban.
“In my personal opinion, I feel like there’s a lot more environmental things that we could be focusing on in the state parks,” said Erin Reilly of Middletown.
If you get caught bringing alcohol or drinking in these recreational areas, you could receive a verbal warning, a written warning, or a $75 infraction, which could be per bottle of alcohol.
The alcohol ban runs through Labor Day weekend at the seven locations. Officials recommend park-goers do their research on the park before visiting.