RCMP to enforce Sask. provincial park booze ban this long weekend

The RCMP is warning the public it will be enforcing a booze ban at provincial parks this May long weekend.

Province's 35 provincial parks imposing alcohol ban from May 18 to 22

A temporary liquor ban applies at Saskatchewan provincial parks this weekend. (CBC)

The RCMP is warning the public it will be enforcing a booze ban at Saskatchewan's provincial parks this May long weekend.

With throngs of campers expected to flock to campsites across Saskatchewan, the province's 35 provincial parks will be imposing an alcohol ban from May 18 to 22.

Measures are preventative: RCMP

RCMP media relations officer Sgt. Earl LeBlanc said there will be increased patrols and enforcement to make sure campers are obeying the rules.

He said the majority of Saskatchewan people are typically well-behaved but it is important for police to have a bigger presence for preventative reasons.

"It's the first weekend so obviously the parks are full," said Sgt. LeBlanc.

"Any time that you have an increased amount of people there is also a risk of more incidences to happen."

He said it would be up to the individual detachments to decide whether to visit campsites for the sole purpose of enforcing the booze ban.

Ban also applies to national parks 

Shannon Bond from the Prince Albert National Park said it is uncommon to have problems with partying at park campsites but the drinking rule will still be enforced at national parks too.

"We've really been lucky," said Bond.

"Even if we are having to send those people out to talk to campers it hasn't been an out of control kind of situation, it's been something that's been dealt with quite easily."

Sgt. LeBlanc said drinking and partying issues would usually be reported first to campsite management and then to the police.

Police will also be ramping up their impaired driving enforcement with increased checkstops and roving patrols.

"We want to make sure that our highways are safe," said Sgt. LeBlanc.

"Not just the highways but also our parks because it is the long weekend so we are expecting a high volume of traffic."

He urged anyone who thinks they have seen an impaired driver to pull over and call 911 with a detailed account of the vehicle they saw and its location.