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Alcohol ban in place, hours extended at two Iowa beaches

DES MOINES -- The Department of Natural Resources is reminding the public that an alcohol ban is currently in effect for the beaches at Lake Macbride State Park near Solon in Johnson County and Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area, north of Cedar Rapids. 

The ban applies to both the sand area of the beach, a 200-foot buffer of land surrounding the sand, and the designated swimming area adjacent to the beach as marked by buoys or swim lines. This ban allows the DNR to reopen the beaches until 10:30 p.m.

In July 2015, restricted beach hours were initiated at each park following a number of alcohol-related incidents, including assaults, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, littering, and underage drinking.   

In June 2016, the Iowa Natural Resource Commission approved a notice of intended action to ban alcohol at the two beaches. Two public meetings were held on this rule in July 2016, with the overwhelming majority of comments received in support of the ban. The NRC adopted the final rule in August 2016. 

Last September, the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee imposed a session delay on the ban – meaning the rule would only take effect if lawmakers failed to propose legislation on the issue during the 2017 session. The rule had not been acted upon before adjournment on April 22, making the ban effective that day.

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