No more booze at Kinkaid Lake Spillway

Nore more booze at Kinkaid Lake Spillway
By: Arnold Wyrick
JACKSON COUNTY, Il. --Just one week before the official kickoff of the summer boating season, and one of the most popular areas in Southern Illinois will be alcohol free.  The land director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources made the announcement Thursday.
"Some of the reasons we're going to do that, is over the past five years conservation officers have written 1,200 tickets to individuals in that area that drank more then they needed to drink," says Tony Mayville.
The 'alcohol free zone' will encompass 13.1 acres around the spillway area, including the popular swimming area near the spillway.
"We've had numerous incidents in that area with a majority of them precipitated by alcohol usage.  This past year we had a number of individuals drown in this lake," says Jackson County Sheriff Bob Burns.
The no booze enforcement in the area will begin on May 25th, officers will be patrolling the water and land above and below the spillway to ticket people.  The first offense will cost the offender $75.
"Well I think it's a good thing because alcohol causes accidents and stuff down here, people swimming drunk and stuff like that.  It's just good and it'll stop a lot of the trash," says Scott Garmane of Gorham, Illinois.
But not everybody is so happy to hear that the party is over at the spillway, just before the Memorial Day weekend.
"Like nobody is going to come down here anymore.  And it will probably be more family oriented now.  But it's a good time for all the college kids.  And if you can't drink they won't be here," says Dylan Hughey of Carbondale, Illinois.
Police report they've broke up more than 30 gang related fights, and 28 criminal damage to property in the spillway area over the past couple of years.
"We'll write as many tickets as we need to write, arrest as many people as we need to arrest to ensure this is a alcohol free zone," Mayville said.
People can still consume alcohol in designated areas on the lake, but the spillway area will no longer be the place to pop open a cold one and enjoy a day at the lake.