Bruce Springsteen received including DWI and "consuming alcohol in an enclosed area" (the word "closed" is also used) in November 2020 in Gateway National Recreation Area in New Jersey. I searched for those phrases and for National Park Service regulations related to alcohol and was unable to find an explanation.

I'd like to see a link to the relevant law and have an explanation of what constitutes a closed or enclosed area in this context and the motivation for this restriction. This seems odd to me because, in my opinion, restricting the consumption of alcohol in public, outside of enclosed places, is the familiar case.

1 Answer 1


The area is "closed" (not open), or "restricted" to alcohol consumption. Here is a memo reminding of alcohol restrictions, noting 36 CFR 2.35 which states that

The superintendent may close all or a portion of a public use area or public facility within a park area to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or that has been opened, or whose seal is broken or the contents of which have been partially removed.

This was done in the case of the area, apparently a few years earlier (i,e, it used to be allowed and there was a policy change). The Gateway Nt'l Park website states that "Alcoholic beverages at Sandy Hook are prohibited", as are a bunch of other things.

The motivation is part of the regulation, that the superintendent determined that

(A) The consumption of an alcoholic beverage or the possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage would be inappropriate considering other uses of the location and the purpose for which it is maintained or established; or

(B) Incidents of aberrant behavior related to the consumption of alcoholic beverages are of such magnitude that the diligent application of the authorities in this section and §§ 1.5 and 2.34 of this chapter, over a reasonable time period, does not alleviate the problem.

  • Ah, so the closure is the restriction itself rather than being a physical one. So "enclosure" is probably a poorly chosen word by a lay person. Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 3:09

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