One hundred and fifty four boats and seventeen personal watercraft were checked for safety equipment. Officers and deputies checked operators to identify those who were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A total of 28 citations were issued to boat operators: 16 for failure to carry required personal flotation devices onboard the vessel, 8 for failure to carry required fire extinguisher, 2 for wakeless speed violations, and 1 for no boat registration. The number of OUIs was lower than in previous years with only one person arrested for operating a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol. During a similar boating safety detail in 2012 46 watercraft operators were contacted, 18 citations were issued and 2 impaired boat operators were arrested.
First time offenders of Operating Under the Influence include face 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. Arizona State Statute allows open alcohol containers in a vessel; however Utah law does not. It is important to note that most of Lake Powell is in Utah and an open container of alcohol in Utah is a criminal offense.
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 - Boat Safe, Boat Smart, Boat Sober! More than twenty-five law enforcement officers and deputies from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, National Park Service, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Page Police Department worked together to insure that this was a safe weekend for those who were boating at Lake Powell. Six volunteers of the Coconino County Page Community Emergency Response Team also assisted with this detail.