Kaneohe Sandbar

The sandbar in Kaneohe is and has been a popular gathering spot for many people. People of all ages enjoy taking boats out to the sand bar, swimming, and relaxing. Lately, concerns have been made about the safety of the sandbar because of the numerous people who go there and get drunk. Last memorial day, a fight broke out at the sandbar and ended at the harbor where a 26 year old man died due to injuries from the fight. Consequently, the state is pushing to ban alcohol consumption on the sandbar during every three day weekend because it is an unsafe situation for civilians. The state should ban alcohol consumption on the sandbar during three day weekends because it benefits the safety of the public.

The state feels that the alcohol consumption at the sandbar is unsafe because it leads to unnecessary altercations and in some cases, death. Alcohol was believed to be the main factor in the beating and death of Oahu resident Nelden Kamakali’ulani Torres. The fight broke out on the sandbar and ended at the harbor. According to police, Torres hit his head on the pavement after being punched by the suspect. Similarly, in 2009 on Labor Day weekend, another fight broke out on the sandbar leaving three men injured. One of the men involved in the fight was stabbed and alcohol was a contributing factor. In 2005, on Labor Day, there were an estimated number of 400 boats. On this day, a man who was trying to help his drowning sister was cut on the head by another man holding a beer bottle. This shows that alcohol is a contributing factor to many of the injuries civilians get while at the sandbar.

The state is taking action to reduce the number of alcohol related fights on the sandbar. An emergency ban has been placed on alcohol at the sandbar during the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends. Officials believe that most of the alcohol related fights happen during three day weekends. Although the Department of Land and Natural Resources try to regulate boats that are on the sandbar, it is difficult for them to regulate the large number of boats that come to the sandbar during these three day weekends. Officials say that during Memorial Day weekend, more than 200 boats were at the sandbar. Officials boarded 15 vessels and issued 15 warnings because of safety violations such as not having enough life jackets for everyone on board.

The state has received many complaints about the ongoing alcohol and drug consumption that happens at the sandbar. Many residents who enjoy going to the sandbar because they appreciate its beauty are concerned that it will lose its appeal if the partying continues. Families are concerned that they can no longer bring their children to the sandbar without fearing their safety from intoxicated individuals. Those who live near the sandbar and frequent the beaches near it do not like the fact that the sandbar attracts a large number of drug users. In many of the fights that break out from the sandbar, drugs such as weed and alcohol are usually present in the suspects who engage in fights. This factor has prompted officials to take this matter seriously and try to make the sandbar have a safer environment.

Although the state has the public’s safety in its best interest, some feel that placing a ban on alcohol will not appease the problem. Many believe that trying to ban people who are intoxicated from going to the sandbar and ban alcohol will not be effective. They believe that it would be too difficult to monitor such activities especially when the sandbar gets crowded. Those who enjoy drinking and partying on the sandbar are also not happy with the ban being placed. They believe that it is unfortunate that a few bad incidents and people will ruin their fun. Officials believe that the ban is worth trying in order to ensure public safety.

While there are many mixed emotions about the ban of alcohol on the sandbar, it is for the public’s safety and should be implemented because of the all the alcohol related injuries. Many are relieved that the state is finally taking action in appeasing this problem and believe that it will improve the atmosphere of the sandbar.


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