Maryland….How can I camp if I can’t drink?

While cruising the Internet, as I do much of the time in a quest for pertinent information about anything of interest, I came across some information about the state of Maryland banning alcohol from their state parks. I think that it is a little squirrelly the way that it is written. You can check this link out to see the language of the law. This appears to be a ruse by the state of Maryland to collect some additional revenue. If you want to have a party, all you need do is pay a fee of $35.00 for a permit and bring out the booze. Another provision allows you to consume alcohol in a Motor Home. Well, what about those of us who can’t afford a Motor Home and just have a travel trailer or pop-up or 5th wheel. That would be blatant discrimination! After all, we would be out of sight of anyone who would be offended by our behavior as long as we are inside, or am I missing something.

I guess that the state is trying to cut down on the roudy drunks in the parks but I wonder how often the drunks really pose any more of a problem than a bunch of people playing loud music that no one else likes to hear. The park rangers should be able to control the drunks just like they should be able to control the loud annoying music. I for one enjoy having a beer or glass of wine in the evening while I’m relaxing from a day of doing not much of anything. To me that is part of the enjoyment of camping. I know! There are a lot of people who do not drink and think it is shameful that others do. But why should a law be enacted that would prevent me from enjoying what I like to do. And no, it is not the same as a law against smoking since I’ve never heard of second hand alcohol inhaling.

Although Maryland has just enacted their ban on alcohol, I would think that other state regulated parks have some sort of rule governing the consumption of alcohol. Since I live in Texas, I looked up the regulation for our state parks. This is what it says:
59.134 Rules of Conduct:
(a) Abandoned and unattended property. It is an offense for any person to:

1.abandon a vehicle or other personal property;
2.leave a vehicle, boat, barge, or other property unattended in a unit of the state park system in such a manner as to create a hazardous or unsafe condition; or
3.leave property unattended in a state park without having received prior permission from the director or to leave a vehicle unattended after the closing hour, unless such person is legally in the park after closing, and unless he has parked the vehicle in a place designated by the director or he has prior permission from the director.
(b) Alcoholic beverages. It is an offense for any person to:

1.consume or display an alcoholic beverage in a public place; or
2.sell alcoholic beverages within a state park.

As long as your campsite isn’t interpreted as being a public place, I guess you can drink in the campsite but no place else.  I don’t usually stay in state parks so I’ve never tested (b) 1. .

In our travels, we have stayed at several private campgrounds that have rules stating that you can’t consume alcohol in public at their campgrounds.  Not too many are like that.

I think the bottom line in an issue like this is that if you don’t like the rules, don’t stay at the park.  If enough people would boycott the Maryland State Parks, the sate of Maryland might reconsider that silly law.

What do you think about alcohol is State Parks, National Parks or any campground? 





1 comment to Maryland….How can I camp if I can’t drink?

  • jkellerfsu

    This ban is pretty disappointing to this lifetime camper. I will be heading out to Western Maryland Parks this year and will be rolling the dice on the alcohol. My fear is they will make me pour it out! I will gladly pay the $55 fine but pouring it out will be reminicent of getting busted during the underage drinking days

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