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5/29/2014 6:00:00 AM
7 arrested at holiday river checkpoint
Game and Fish Wildlife Manager Tim Shurtliff patrols the water next to an OUI checkpoint buoy. The department participated in a watercraft OUI/safety inspection checkpoint at Katherine Landing over the weekend.
Game and Fish Wildlife Manager Tim Shurtliff patrols the water next to an OUI checkpoint buoy. The department participated in a watercraft OUI/safety inspection checkpoint at Katherine Landing over the weekend.

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Seven of 160 watercraft operators stopped at a checkpoint at Katherine Landing in Bullhead City over Memorial Day weekend were arrested for operating under the influence.

Nearly 30 percent of the 160 operators had been drinking.

Five of the seven were arrested for being over the legal blood-alcohol content limit of 0.08 and two were arrested for OUI drugs. One of the alcohol-related OUIs was classified as extreme, with the operator reportedly exceeding a blood-alcohol content of 0.15.

While the number of operators arrested was relatively low, 45 of the 160 stopped had consumed alcohol, noted Game and Fish supervisor Velma Holt-Buhr, who said boaters needed to be responsible on the water.

"That's close to 30 percent of watercraft operators having consumed some alcohol," said Holt-Buhr, who is based at the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman. "It would be nice to see more people designating a sober operator before taking to the water."

Agents and officers with Game and Fish, along with the Nevada Division of Wildlife, National Park Service and Kingman Police Department, also performed safety inspections at the checkpoint.

The two most common violations were the lack lack of a required "type IV throwable" and the lack of a fire extinguisher. Twelve citations were issued for each of these violations. Six citations were issued for an insufficient number of lifejackets, one was issued for a child not wearing a lifejacket and three were issued for registration violations.

Holt-Buhr said watercraft owners could easily avoid the risk of a citation by reviewing the regulations.

"There's a reason for these items being required on watercraft ...," she said, noting being compliant in the first place is cheaper than being cited and then getting into compliance.

Also, boating education classes are available. Those interested can go on the Game and Fish Department website at

Holt-Buhr also noted that a number of operators had the required equipment, but had difficulty locating the items in a timely fashion.

"In a life-threatening situation that equipment isn't going to do much good unless you can find it quickly," she said.

Holt-Buhr said additional multi-agency checkpoints for OUI and safety inspections will occur throughout the season.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014
Article comment by: YEP....... MR. C.

I have a song in my heart, a girl on my left and one on my right & I'm doing alright because the water patrol is keeping me right!! and that's alright with me me me.

Whatcha think Buster Brown?

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Article comment by: buster brown

in the good ol daze.... you rarely saw a cop or game warden on or along the river. if you did, he would have a beer with you. different times, different people, different country. hey i think i gotta a song going on here!

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