OUI checkpoint set for this weekend

KINGMAN - 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.

Arizona Game and Fish, Nevada Division of Wildlife, National Park Service and the Bullhead City Police Department will be enforcing Arizona's OUI legal limit of a .08 blood-alcohol content.

"A large number of boating accidents involve alcohol," said Velma Holt, west sector supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Kingman office. "Removing impaired boaters from the waterways is a critical element in creating a safe, enjoyable recreational environment for the public."

All boaters passing through the checkpoint will be subject to a systematic safety inspection this weekend. Operators will be checked for alcohol impairment and required safety equipment, such as proper life jackets and working fire extinguishers.

"The responsibility for boating safety among watercraft users is becoming increasingly important on our waterways," Holt said.

"The area is growing quickly, and we share these waterways with California and Nevada. It's becoming very congested, which lends itself to more potential hazards."

Holt advises boaters to review requirements in the regulations prior to launching.

"Pre-planning in regards to safety equipment is easy and cheaper than receiving a ticket and then having to meet those requirements," she said.

Additional multi-agency OUI checkpoints will occur on the Colorado River and its reservoirs throughout the boating season.

Game and Fish encourages boaters to take part in a boating education class. Interested parties can look for available classes at www.azgfd.gov.