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Page, AZ – On Saturday, August 9th 2014 law enforcement agencies in Northern Coconino County conducted an Operating Under the Influence (OUI) and Boating Safety Checkpoint at the Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The purpose of the Checkpoint was to identify offenders and get them off the waterways as well as to inform and educate the public on the dangers of impaired boating.
Sixty one vessels were checked to include 48 powerboats and 13 personal watercrafts for safety equipment and impaired operation. A total of 10 citations were issued and two arrests made for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs. Citations included violations for lack of Personal Flotation Devices, Fire Extinguishers, and boating registration. During a similar boating safety detail in 2013 154 vessels were contacted, 28 citations were issued and 1 impaired boat operator was arrested.
First time offenders of Operating Under the Influence include a minimum fine of $1508.88 with the possibility of up to 10 days in jail and mandatory alcohol screening. Fines and jail time increase with intoxication levels of the operator and as multiple offenses increase.
The objective of the weekend checkpoint was to send a clear message to those who are considering operating a watercraft after consuming alcohol or drugs that Operating Under the Influence will not be tolerated. More than 25 law enforcement officers and deputies from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Game and Fish Department, National Park Service, and Arizona Department of Public Safety worked together to insure that this was a safe weekend for those who were boating at Lake Powell. Four volunteers of the Coconino County Community Emergency Response Team also assisted with the detail.
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Media and Public Contact: Lieutenant Bret Axlund, 928-679-8705