- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 3, 2019

SANDY HOOK, N.J. (AP) - The last public beach in New Jersey to allow alcoholic beverages has joined the rest of the state in banning them.

The National Park Service announced Tuesday that safety concerns at Sandy Hook - related to excessive drinking - led to the decision. Officials say more than 300 alcohol-related issues occurred on the beach between 2016-2018 - including a motor vehicle accident serious enough that two people were flown to hospitals.

Officials are also banning smoking on Sandy Hook except in designated areas and parking lots.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy had banned smoking last year at all state and local owned beaches. Sandy Hook is part of the federal Gateway National Recreation Area.

The alcohol restrictions won’t affect private events with permits or weddings held at the Sandy Hook Chapel.

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