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7/23/2014 6:00:00 AM
Drinking + Boating = Stupid, so why do it?
Operating a boat under the influence is a crime, but people don't always think of it the same way they think about drunk driving.
Operating a boat under the influence is a crime, but people don't always think of it the same way they think about drunk driving.
There are plenty of ways to boat safely, including having a designated driver and knowing where all safety equipment is. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
There are plenty of ways to boat safely, including having a designated driver and knowing where all safety equipment is. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Assigning a designated driver when out on the town has helped cut down on driving under the influence arrests made on the roads, but boaters have been slow to catch on.

Six of 144 boat operators who went through a multi-agency OUI checkpoint on the Colorado River near Topock July 12 were arrested for operating under the influence, but 40 of them, 28 percent of those stopped, had been drinking alcohol.

"That means more than one in four operators had consumed alcohol," said Karin Perkins, the law enforcement program manager for the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman. "It is unfortunate more people aren't designating a sober operator before launching their watercraft."

Four of those arrested were charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and two were allegedly under the influence of drugs.

Boaters were also subject to a systematic safety inspection. The lack of a fire extinguisher and a throwable type IV flotation device continue to be the two most common violations of boating regulations.

Of the 40 citations issued, 17 boaters were cited for no fire extinguisher and 15 for no flotation device.

Six citations were issued for boats with an inadequate number of lifejackets, one for a child not wearing a lifejacket and one for no registration.

Another concern of law enforcement is the number of watercraft users who have the proper equipment, but have no idea where it's located.

Perkins said it took some of them "a long time" to find the equipment, noting that in a life-threatening situation not knowing where essential equipment is "isn't going to do much good."

The multi-agency OUI checkpoints will continue throughout the summer watercraft season.

The department conducts boating education classes that will help operators get into compliance before they get cited.

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Related Links:
• Click here for info on safe boating.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014
Article comment by: worst carnage

In my years in the Insurance field. The worst damage/injury claims I wrote were all water/boat/drinking combinations.

They paled all the auto claims by a long shot. When I lived in Louisiana it seemed like people would get in boats just to drink and go crazy.

Posted: Saturday, July 26, 2014
Article comment by: Amberlee James

Many people have not learned that drinking and driving be it cars, boats or anything with wheels. They people who drink and drive never learn until someone is hurt or killed. Its ashamed that many people think you have to drink to have a good time.

Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Article comment by: N N

This is the major reason why I don't go on the water, too may beach bums from.....

Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Harris

And oui, oui to you too.

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