Alcohol enforcement in Maryland State Parks

Discussion in 'Maryland' started by critter, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. critter

    critter Member

    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    I was of the belief that the park rangers in Maryland were pretty much don't ask don't tell until this year. My wife and I frequent several Maryland State Park Campgrounds and we are usually traveling with our 2 children. Once earlier this camping season while at the Cunningham Falls State Park the ranger came around visiting the campsites in our loop to "check in" with us and to inform us of some new rule changes for this season. It was very obvious with the effort that the ranger was putting into try to see in my wife's solo cup that he was "fishing" for alcohol use. Then this past weekend while camping with 2 other families at Swallow Falls State Park the ranger came around to "check in" again and this time he shook us down about what was in our cups and then he wanted to see inside of our cooler to check for alcohol. We were there with our families and were far from being noisy and none of us were a nusiance or falling down drunk. I know that the rules are the rules and what not, but I am afraid that this aggressive level of enforcement is going to cause myself and others to stop using the Maryland State Parks. I send this out just as an FYI for anyone that frequents the Maryland Parks so that you are not caught off guard or lured into a false sense of security that they are only passively enforcing this law.
     
  2. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    We've only ever camped at Elk Neck SP in MD. The rangers never came into our site for any reason that I can remember. We were there on Mother's Day weekend this year.

    My husband would never bring alcohol to a park that has an No Alcohol Policy. I might have sneaked in a couple of bottles of wine coolers once to a SP, but I usually don't.

    PA SP's also have a no alcohol policy, but again, I have never had a ranger come into our site for any reason.
     
  3. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Well did you or did you not have alcohol...inquiring minds need to know!

    Plus I still can't figure why people have to drink and get drunk to have fun while camping...doesn't make sense to me! If I got drunk I would not be able to fish, kayak, hike, bird watch, swim, and all the other camping stuff we do.

    Drunks just ruin it for everyone else who WANTS to enjoy the outdoors. If you want to get drunk stay home on your own property, that way cops can't do anything...simple solution to a big problem with drunks!

    JJ
     
  4. Kardolf

    Kardolf New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    As a complete non-drinker (I can count on one hand the number of drinks I have had in my life, and I am well over the 40 y.o. stage) I know that many of my friends and family like to have a single glass of wine, or maybe a nice pint of Mac-n-Jacks to wind down at the end of a day. I don't have a problem with anyone doing that, as long as the behavior generated isn't totally unruly. I don't understand it, but I don't have a problem with it. A single glass of wine doesn't really have a noticeable effect on those that I hang out with, so I'm not against it.

    I do have a problem with law enforcement looking for a problem when one isn't evident. If there is no problem with behavior, why do we need to make a mountain out of a molehill?
     
  5. NeedtoRoam

    NeedtoRoam Colorfull Colorado

    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Centennial, Colorado
    I think most SP in Colorado only allow 3.2% beer, nothing stronger. Not everyone that has a beer or two gets so drunk that they can't fish, hike or kayak. There is a big difference between a couple of drinks and drinking until you get drunk.
     
  6. jeanmariemc

    jeanmariemc New Member

    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    I'm no drunk (anymore) but I love having a beer or two by the fire with my DH after DS is asleep. The temptation to overdo it is always tempered by the fact that my 2 y/o will be up with the sun no matter how many beers I've had. I tend to avoid places with stringent booze policies though. I want that nightcap and don't want to break the law to have it.
     
  7. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

    Messages:
    4,583
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    No booze rules? Really? This would go over like a lead balloon in Korea.
     
  8. Tomminny

    Tomminny 2004 Jayco Qwest 10K

    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate NY (Lake Effect Snow Country)
    Drive 60 in a 55 and it is ok... Drive 65 in a 55 and you get a ticket, you deserve it.... Have a giass of wine or another drink in a park and don't bother anyone, you should ge left alone.... Get trashed and obnoxious, you should get in trouble...you deserve it...

    Just my opinion.
     
  9. robbitybob

    robbitybob New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Not against speeding sometimes. Not against someone having a drink or two (stumbling drunk is another thing). But if the rules say don't and you do then don't be surprised if you pay the fine. Law enforcement officers don't make the laws. They just enforce them.
     
  10. efehser

    efehser New Member

    Messages:
    4,614
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    A sudden rash of enforcement where there was none before usually means one of two things- what wasn't a problem became a problem. or, more likely, revenue generation.
     
  11. TentOnWheelsTX

    TentOnWheelsTX New Member

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Our SPs in Texas only state: no PUBLIC DISPLAY of alcohol is allowed in the park. (emphasis mine)

    So, as long as I'm not flaunting it, or being obnoxious, or Getty drunk (public intoxication is a whole different law), then, yes, RDB and I enjoy an adult beverage or tow, or three, when we camp.

    I fully agree with robbitybob:

     
  12. mnebinger

    mnebinger Livin' The Dream!

    Messages:
    1,213
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    And here I thought the no alcohol rule is SPs was to make it easier for the rangers to kick you out if you got intoxicated.

    Is it legal for them to search your cooler (or pup/tv) without reasonable cause?
     
  13. MD Chef

    MD Chef New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Ding, ding ding I live in MD and you picked the winner...revenue generation, our government here is spend and tax to catch up. but technically if you drink in your camper they can touch you(if you don''t get out of control) it is like your house by MD law.
     
  14. MD Saga

    MD Saga Pop-up journeymen

    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    We've camped in three MD state parks this year (one just last week over the holiday) and we've never had any issues related to this. I, too, enjoy a beer or two by the fire in the evening. I keep the beer in the fridge and pour it into a plastic cup (not a solo). My wife may have a glass (cup) of wine, as well. We get the kids to bed and relax a bit, i.e., we're not obnoxious drunken slobs.

    Although I prefer the state parks, its nice when we do an occasional trip to a private campground not to have to worry about big brother watching us.
     
  15. SmilinBeard

    SmilinBeard Member

    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    I too camp in MD state parks including Cunningham Falls, and have not seen this. No indication that they were looking in my red Solo cup. Not that they would find anything stronger than iced tea.

    They have come by to warn of a coming wind storm, and when called for an emergency.
     
  16. lbcarr87

    lbcarr87 New Member

    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Must be a money issue. If you're not bothering anyone and in your own site, who cares. This is similar to red light or speeding cameras on our city sreets and bye ways. Just another means of revenue for big brother. It's funny how our yellow lights went from 7 seconds to 4 secons after the cameras were installed. Just for red light tickets and the $180.00 fine that goes with it. It's alla bout who's watchin' who. I would bet that statistics show that rear end accidents have increased due to the cameras. Just sayin'.
    Everyone mind your p's and q's at parks that don't permit alcohol and maybe they'll leave you alone.
    And if it were me and they wanted to search my cooler or camper they had better get a warrant first, we still have rights.
     
  17. bandc12

    bandc12 New Member

    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    I was at Assateague SP in MD at the end of August. On the web site it says alcohol is allowed inside your RV. (had a hard time deciding if the pop up fell in to that category) However when we got there the signs said it was prohibited??!! We went on with our trip using BLUE solo cups, didn't have a single problem. No one came in to our site except the camp host shortly after we arrived.
     
  18. SLackinone

    SLackinone New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    I went over the weekend, didn't have a problem, just used the red solo cups [2C]
     
  19. jomassino

    jomassino New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    I live in MD and camp in our SP's at least three or four times a year. I really thought the law was there to enforce when campers became obnoxious, but that it wouldn't be energetically enforced on those of us who like to have an occasional drink. That is, until I went to Jane's Island SP last September. We were a group of four 50+-year-old women and I can assure you we were not in the least bit noisy or rowdy. The evening shift ranger was very friendly and even delivered some firewood to our site after the store was closed. The ranger who came on after him couldn't have been more rude or officious. I had forgotten to put the Bailey's Irish Cream bottle back in the camper when I fixed hot chocolate for everyone. The ranger, on his regular loop tour, saw it, stopped and was quite loud and nasty in telling us that we would only get one warning and then he would call the police and have us removed from the park. Fine. I know we were breaking the rules and he was absolutely correct in speaking to us about it. I really don't think he had to be quite so rude (and disrespectful of his elders, the young whippersnapper!), especially when we were very polite and apologetic, and addressed him as "sir".

    As far as drinking in the camper goes, I believe it must be a "motor home" and a PUP wouldn't fall into that category, so be careful!
     
  20. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

    Messages:
    4,325
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Never been bothered but never been drunk/rowdy or obnoxious either [8D]
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.