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Police Warn Detroiters: No Alcohol Allowed On Belle Isle

DETROIT (WWJ) - Police are warning visitors of Detroit's Belle Isle to leave the booze at the bridge.

With the Spring thaw coming, people are gearing up for parties and picnics at the now-Michigan State Park. But this summer, police are advising people to keep the alcohol off of the island -- or else.

Michigan State Police Lieutenant Phil Menna told WWJ's Vickie Thomas that the no-alcohol rule at the 985-acre island park has actually always been on the books. The only difference is now, it will actually be enforced.

"Bad behavior is not going to be tolerated," Menna said. "Your good time cannot infringe on somebody else's good time, so that's what we want to instill."

Menna said officers on patrol will stop and issue tickets to anyone consuming alcohol on the island. He said the only instance alcohol will be allowed on Belle Isle is if a special permit is obtained beforehand.

However, Ron Olson, Chief of Parks and Recreation for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said there won't be extreme enforcement of the no-alcohol policy. He said the policy is in place to prevent, for example, a group of young people throwing a keg-party along the river. He said a couple enjoying some wine with their afternoon picnic will likely be left alone.

Olson said the no-alcohol policy, along with several other restrictions on the island, will be reviewed at the end of the year and could change in the future.

Under a 30-year lease agreement, which was approved last year, Detroit maintains ownership of Belle Isle while the DNR assumes responsibility for managing the park, and MDOT takes responsibility for the roads and bridges. The lease provides for an initial 30-year term with two 15-year renewals.

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