Stokes County Rivers to Ban DWT- Drinking While Tubing
Dan River in Stokes County, North Carolina may become a dry river- and not in the way one would think.
County commissioners are proposing a law banning alcohol consumption while tubing down the river, a move they say is in the best interest of the waterway and property owners along its shores.
Time Warner Cable News reported last week that the proposed law would reduce the litter along the river banks and on the private property of riverside homeowners. Stokes County Sheriff Mike Marshall says it is also about ensuring everyone can enjoy the ride unharassed and in peace.
“There were complaints about different groups going down the river, kids having to listen to cursing, people drinking going down slinging stuff at them. We’ve had complaints of people stepping on broken beer bottles and glass in the river along with cans.”
The proposal is set to go before the Stokes County Commissioners board today and already has the support of several land and business owners along the river. Michael Fulp is not one of those people.
“A bunch of people get together, they want to come out and hang out and laugh and joke and carry on and they get a few beers.” he said. Fulp is the owner of Hillside Dan River Tubing, a business which he says will be affected if drinking is prohibited. He explains that his business has only experienced one drinking-related incident so far this year, and thus he does not see the problem. He goes on to say that it’s a matter of personal decisions and ability to handle one’s liquor. “You come to the river to drink beer. Some handle it better than others and you got ball games that allows drinking, you got coliseums that allow drinking, if you take it out it’s going to affect it.”
Other owners along the river are a bit more sympathetic. Johannah Stern of Singletree Gun and Plough says she has not experienced any ill effects of drinking along the river, but she understands the feelings of those who are affected.
“No one wants their rights to be infringed upon, but I also see the problem downstream,” she said, “They have so much trash and evidently lots of people throwing beer cans, and if I were a landowner downstream, I might feel differently.”
The pending decision has definitely upset people who come to Dan river regularly to drink and enjoy themselves, but sheriff Marshall insists they are not attempting to make a problem for them, but rather remedy an existing problem for others. “What we’re trying to do is find a resolution where people can have their fun and us be able to protect the property owners’ rights as well.” he said.
Do you support the ban of alcohol from public gathering sites like Dan river? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!
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