Emergency Rules Enacted at Kane’ohe Sandbar
By Wendy Osher
The state enacted an emergency rule to establish a safety zone around the Kane’ohe sandbar, prohibiting alcohol and drugs on three-day weekends that include state holidays. The rule will be in effect before the Fourth of July weekend and for 120 days while the Department of Land and Natural Resources begins a formal rule-making process to establish permanent guidelines to ensure public safety.
The area, known historically as Ahu o Laka has experienced overcrowding and increased incidents involving drugs and alcohol in recent years.
“Families and residents have long enjoyed going out to the sandbar,” said William J. Ailā, Jr. DLNR Chairperson. “However, in recent years, there has been an increase in unruly activity that involves drinking and use of illegal drugs. We have a responsibility to ensure the public’s safety, and this new rule will help us in protecting our residents and families,” said Ailā.
The safety zone includes a rectangular area just over a square mile comprising the majority of the sandbar and defined by four marker buoys.
Under the new rule, disorderly conduct is prohibited as well as possession or consumption of alcohol or other intoxicating substances at the site. Entering or remaining the area while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or drugs is also prohibited.
Violators are subject to a fine of beteween $50 and $1,000 for each violation, in addition to possible administrative penalties.