Weekend checkpoint to target impaired boaters
Agencies also will check for proper safety equipment
May 15, 2015
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).
Game and Fish and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be enforcing Arizona's OUI legal limit of a .08 blood-alcohol content.
All boaters passing through the checkpoint will be subject to a systematic safety inspection. Operators will be checked for alcohol impairment and required safety equipment, such as proper life jackets and working fire extinguishers.
"Any level of alcohol impairment can potentially lead to life-threatening situations," said Brandon Carley, law enforcement program manager for the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman. "Nationally, alcohol ranks among the top five contributing factors in boating accidents and is the leading contributing factor in deaths.
"Take the simple step of designating a sober operator prior to launching. These checkpoints are not about limiting enjoyment on the waters, they're about safety."
Carley advises boaters to review requirements in the regulations prior to launching. To avoid some of the more common violations, be sure to have a U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejacket for every individual on board, a working fire extinguisher, and a Type IV throwable personal floatation device (PFD).
Anyone 12 and under must be wearing a lifejacket at all times.
Additional multi-agency OUI checkpoints will occur on the Colorado River and its reservoirs throughout the boating season.
The department encourages boaters to take part in a boating education class. Interested parties can look for available classes on the department website, http://www.azgfd.gov.