NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -

New Braunfels Police officers have issued the first citations to violators of the city's ban on disposable containers on the river, handing out four citations this past weekend.

The container ban, which went into effect January 1, bans the use of disposable containers (such as beer cans and water bottles) on rivers that run through city limits.

Randy Hamilton, who floats the river about three times a week during the season, said he has seen an increase in heavy drinking in spite of the ban.

"I have seen unbelievably drunk people before the halfway point of the trip," said Hamilton. "They're drinking much harder alcohol, and they're drinking it just as quickly as they were drinking the beer in the first place."

Hamilton said he expects more trouble during the busy summer months, due to the increase in consumption of hard alcohol.

Violation of the city's container ban is a Class C misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $500.