Officials enforce alcohol ban on Labor Day Float

Officials enforce alcohol ban on Labor Day Float

HAMILTON CITY, Calif. - With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, law enforcement is gearing up for the Glenn County tradition, the Labor Day Float down the Sacramento River.

Last year, county officials banned alcohol on the river for the entire weekend.

Tens of thousands of people used to embark on this annual half mile float, but officers said Tuesday the ban is helping them keep people safe.

Officials said the number of people floating has dropped last year. There were no assaults reported compared to the dozens that happened in years past.

Multiple law enforcement agencies including the sheriff's office of both Butte and Glenn Counties and state park rangers held a press conference to get the word out that alcohol is still not allowed on the river this weekend.

Officers said with last year's ban there were five medical calls compared to the dozens they used to get over Labor Day weekend.

Another danger factor rescuers want you to be aware of is the many snags showing due to the low water level. Officials said those snags are even more of a concern when groups tie off their tubes to each other.

"What we need to do is just let people know, is not to tie up your tubes," said Sergeant Kirk Coon with California State Parks. "If you're going to stay with your group, that's fine, but be a little bit more alert and more cautious. Tying your tubes together and if someone gets caught on a snag it will take all of the tubes with it."

This year could be the first test of the alcohol ban since last year's stormy weather may have kept some off the water.

The Butte County District Attorney's Office said if someone is caught with alcohol this weekend they could face up to six months in jail and pay a $1,000 fine.

The alcohol ban will start on Saturday night at midnight between Irvine Finch and Scotties Landing and it will end on Tuesday at midnight.

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