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Alcohol ban is successful

by Merrie Leininger

The families came back for the Fourth.

That’s according to Sgt. Lance Modispacher of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, who said the new county ordinance banning alcohol on Nevada Beach July Fourth caused the partying to move uptown and left the beach to families again.

“Before there were families coming mid-morning and leaving about noon because the younger people would show up and start drinking. There was so much fighting and profanity that the families just packed up and left. We knew once the alcohol was gone, the families would come back,” he said.

Modispacher said only two people were arrested on the beach Sunday, compared with 20 people last year.

The ordinance was passed by the Douglas County Commission this year after the DCSO asked for alcohol restrictions following many alcohol-related arrests and problems last year.

Modispacher said the two arrests Sunday were both alcohol-related and many of the 22 arrests later Sunday night in Stateline were alcohol-related.

He said the beach ban proved effective for moving the problems but not solving them.

“(We arrested people for) disorderly conduct, civil protective custody, which means they were too drunk to take care of themselves and battery – the ones we usually get at the beach. We knew we were going to move the problem,” he said.

Modispacher said the department will examine what happened this year in Stateline before deciding how to handle next year’s Independence Day revelers.

“The last five years it has been building, so we will have to just plan ahead for next year,” he said. “Take away the alcohol from one place and they just move somewhere else.”

Although many of the arrests were younger people, he said only three were under 17 years old.

DCSO had plenty of help controlling the crowds this year, with about 30 officers total, including Nevada Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service and Carson City Sheriff’s Office.

The NHP and DCSO made 12 drunk driving arrests throughout the county between Friday and Monday, Modispacher said, despite the lack of DUI checkpoints.

“We had more officers on the street every day,” he said.