DEEP adds CT state forest to alcohol ban, boating DUI patrols

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has announced a temporary alcohol ban for the Naugatuck State Forest, according to the agency.

The temporary ban comes in addition to seven other bans imposed previously this summer at other state recreation areas, according to the agency.

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With the Fourth of July a day away, here is the full list of where alcohol is prohibited:

  • Naugatuck State Forest, Naugatuck, Oxford, and Beacon Falls, to include the areas commonly known as Seymour Reservoirs #1, #2, #3 and #4 and the lands immediately surrounding the reservoirs
  • Beach Pond State Boat Launch, Voluntown, including a portion of Pachaug State Forest
  • Billings Lake State Boat Launch, North Stonington, including a portion of Pachaug State Forest
  • Gardner Lake State Park and State Boat Launch, Salem
  • Lake Waramaug State Park, New Preston
  • Paugussett State Forest (upper section)/George Waldo State Park, Southbury
  • Quaddick State Park, Thompson
  • Wadsworth Falls State Park, Middletown/Middlefield.

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“In recent summers, these areas have experienced increased crowds and alcohol consumption, which led to increased incidents of misconduct, unruly behavior, property damage, trespass, and complaints by other visitors and the surrounding communities,” the DEEP said in a statement.

The agency also said that, with “boating under the influence continuing to be a major factor in incidents and deaths on our nation’s waterways, officers from local, state, and federal agencies will once again team up for Operation Dry Water, a national campaign to raise awareness of and enforce laws against boating under the influence.”

That means officers from DEEP’s Environmental Conservation Police, local law enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard will be on the water to enforce and educate about dangers of boating while impaired, the agency said.

The 2024 Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement period is scheduled for July 4 – 6, 2024, coinciding with the Fourth of July— “a holiday known for increased activity on the water.”

“DEEP is working to increase boater awareness of the dangers and risks associated with boating under the influence,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Officers will be on the lookout for impaired boaters on Connecticut’s lakes, ponds, and rivers, as well as Long Island Sound. Boaters will notice an overall increase in officer patrols both on the water and at recreational boating checkpoints. Operation Dry Water aims to create a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water, providing boaters with a safe and enjoyable experience by removing impaired boaters from the waterways.”


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