OLR Research Report


June 20, 2002

 

2002-R-0604

ALCOHOL USE IN STATE PARKS

By: Joseph R. Holstead, Research Analyst

The statutes authorize the DEP commissioner to adopt regulations for the "...maintenance of order, safety and sanitation upon the lands in his control..." (CGS § 23-4). Using this authority, DEP banned alcohol in 13 state parks (see list below) between 1986 and October 1999.

In 1999, DEP found that alcoholic consumption was a significant source of disturbances at state parks. For example, from September 1998 to September 1999, 265 of the 1,011 (approximately 26%) arrests and infractions recorded by DEP law enforcement personnel at state parks were alcohol related. DEP expanded its ban in January 2000 to cover all 93 state parks, 28 state forests, and all 17 state campgrounds. (The ban did not apply to events covered by permits that allowed alcohol to be served or to rental agreements for the Eolia Mansion at Harkness Park and the pavilion at Rocky Neck State Park. )