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Authorities look to curb boating under influence
by Tribune Staff
Jun 24, 2012 | 1306 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo - State game wardens conducted stepped-up enforcement of boating under the influence this weekend around Nevada.
Courtesy Photo - State game wardens conducted stepped-up enforcement of boating under the influence this weekend around Nevada.
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RENO — Game wardens with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) targeted boaters operating under the influence (OUI) this weekend in numerous waters across Nevada as part of a nationally coordinated enforcement effort dubbed “Operation Dry Water.”

In an attempt to reduce the number of drunken boaters, Operation Dry Water is an effort to coordinate increased patrols, investigations and operating under the influence checkpoints. Events took place at waterways across the state, including lakes Lahontan, Mead, Tahoe, Mohave, Topaz and South Fork Reservoir.

“We want people to go boating and have fun, but drunken boaters cause accidents and fatalities,” said Capt. David Pfiffner, Nevada’s boating law administrator. “Of our fatal accidents, almost half in an average year are alcohol related. Too many people are getting hurt because of a senseless, selfish act of some people.”

As part of the effort, game wardens held an operating under the influence checkpoint at a reservoir in northwest Nevada on Saturday. NDOW also moved extra officers from other parts of the state to focus on busy recreational waters, such as lakes Mead and Mohave.

“In addition to our checkpoint, we want to move officers to the trouble spots,” said Lt. Mike McCusker, the game warden in charge of Saturday’s checkpoint. “We know where the higher concentrations of drunken boating are happening and we will be focusing our efforts in those places.”

The program is not only punitive. As part of Operation Dry Water program, game wardens handed out boating safety and education information. Boaters at checkpoints received information about becoming safer boaters. There were even coloring books and other promotional items for children at the events.

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