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DLNR NEWS RELEASE: No-alcohol ban in effect this Memorial Day weekend at Ahu O Laka

Posted on May 25, 2017 in Latest Department News

Labor Day holiday weekend also under same rule

HONOLULU — With the goal to ensure a peaceful and safe family atmosphere this Memorial Day weekend at Ahu O Laka, the Kaneohe sandbar, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is reminding everyone of the no-alcohol rule that will be in place this weekend, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Memorial Day.

The law prohibits possession, use or consumption of alcohol within the Ahu O Laka (Kaneohe Sandbar) safety zone. The rule also prohibits anyone person under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or drugs from remaining in, or entering the safety zone, and prohibits disorderly behavior while in the safety zone.

Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers will be present at Heeia-Kea small boat harbor and at the sandbar to ensure compliance. They will also do outreach, including checks of operator permits, vessel registration and safety gear carriage requirements.

“Since implementation of the Ahu O Laka safety zone rule, accompanied by DOCARE’s onscene enforcement presence, holiday weekend conditions have been more peaceful and calm and families have said they felt safer to bring their children,” said Guy Chang, DOCARE Oahu Branch Chief.

“However, on other weekends, DOCARE has actively responded to complaints of large gatherings/parties with alcohol consumption and party atmosphere at Ahu O Laka and at Waikiki flotilla events. DOCARE officers have issued citations for unsafe boating violations, use of jet skis and a jetpack at the sandbar. Whenever there are large numbers of people, water and alcohol, and other motorized vehicles involved in a limited space, public safety is a matter of high concern,” Chang said.

The effects of consuming alcohol are greatly amplified by the effect of the sun, the wind and waves. Do not operate a vessel while intoxicated; passengers, if you must drink, do so in moderation.

In 2017, the safety rule will apply on the Saturday through Monday weekends of Memorial Day – May 27, 28 and 29; and Labor Day – September 2, 3 and 4. Since July 4 Independence day is on Tuesday (Monday is not observed as a holiday), the rule will not apply that weekend.

For more information, map and text of the rule please visit:

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Video of a recent Memorial Day patrol at Ahu O Laka (in 2014) can be found on Vimeo at


Media Contact:
Deborah Ward
DLNR Communications Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320