Game and Fish advises: Boat safe, boat smart, boat sober
KINGMAN, Ariz. –– The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be part of a multi-agency enforcement effort on the Colorado River system this weekend, checking for individuals operating under the influence (OUI).
Arizona Game and Fish, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lake Havasu City Police Department, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will be enforcing Arizona’s OUI legal limit of a .08 blood-alcohol content.
“A large number of boating accidents involve alcohol,” said Velma Holt, west sector supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Kingman office. “Removing impaired boaters from the waterways is critical in creating a safe, enjoyable recreational environment.”
In fact, alcohol is the top contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
All boaters passing through the checkpoint will be checked for alcohol impairment as well as required safety equipment, such as proper life jackets and working fire extinguishers.
“The Colorado River and its reservoirs are becoming increasingly congested,” Holt said. “These waterways are shared with California and Nevada and the number of watercraft lends itself to more potential hazards.”
Holt advises boaters to review requirements in the regulations prior to launching.
“Pre-planning in regards to safety equipment is easy and cheaper than receiving a ticket and then having to meet those requirements,” she said.
Additional multi-agency OUI checkpoints will occur on the Colorado River and its reservoirs throughout the boating season.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages boaters to take part in a boating education class. Interested parties can look for available classes on the department website, www.azgfd.gov.