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Some saying alcohol ban will not keep students away from Labor Day float

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Aug 30 2013 11:25:21 PM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

A Chico based shuttle service that gives students rides to and from the Sacramento River during the Labor Day float, allowing them to drink on the bus, says the new alcohol ban on the river is going to create chaos rather than solve problems.

They say it won't stop student from enjoying themselves.

Chico River Adventures shuttles more than a thousand tubers each year during the Labor Day float- and they expect the same amount, maybe even more this weekend.

“The alcohol ban is going to cause more chaos for both sides of the law and the kids,” said Nick Morris, owner of Chico River Adventures.

Morris believes the new alcohol ban for the Labor Day float is "ridiculous."

“We are trying to step in and keep this thing alive.  This has been a local event that has been going on for decades, generations going back.  Our parents and grandparents have been doing it forever in this town,” said Morris.

For $25.00- Nick and his company offer shuttle buses that take tubers from Chico to the river and back.  They even let people drink on the bus who are 21 and older.

“Our main objective is to get DUI's off the road.  That seems to be the biggest problems in this community are the DUI's more than the alcohol on the river,” said Morris.

He believes college kids will come in full force this weekend, and the new rules, will not stop them having a good time, and even if it's away from the river - and away from his buses.

“I was out there watching them firsthand drive drunk out of there.  That's why we have these shuttle buses to keep drunk kids off the roads.  That was way more dangerous than a kid drinking a beer on the float,” said Morris.

Students at Chico State are singing the same tune.

“My sister is a freshman here and I think it would interesting for her to see what I’ve seen which is pretty crazy with floaties everywhere, crowded all over the place,” said Chico State senior, Sonia Orozco.

“I think people are still going to go because it's a tradition.  I know people that come up from LA and Berkeley to come float,” said Nate Turner, a Chico State junior.

They point out that tubers will just drink more before hitting the water.

“I do drink but there's always a limit on what people have but I’m definitely going to drink,” said Turner.

It’s a tradition that Nick Morris doesn't want to see fade away.

“This is something we like to share with the college kids and it’s something that shouldn't be taken away from us,” said Morris.

The ban was put into place following the death of Brett Olson last year. Law enforcement says this will help keep everyone safe this year.  Students agree this is a good idea, but believe it will not work.