Saturation Patrols Have One Purpose: To Save Lives
Picture Lake Havasu on a sunny day, and you might think of college students with cases of beer on board, racing up and down the waterways. You might say to yourself, “It’s just harmless fun.”
But, operating a boat while impaired is just as dangerous — and just as illegal — as drinking while driving a car. The legal limit for blood alcohol is .08 in both cases.
The penalties are similar, too; like driving under the influence, operating a boat under the influence is a Class One misdemeanor.
Saturation Patrols And OUI Checkpoints
To detect and remove impaired and unsafe boaters, officers from the Arizona Game and Fish Department and other agencies in Arizona and bordering states of California and Nevada conduct saturation patrols. A boating law-enforcement saturation patrol is on the water for one reason only — to save lives.
Saturation patrols and OUI checkpoints, a similar operation, are conducted on Arizona’s lakes and rivers during the busiest boating months (March through September).
If you’re waved over by an officer during a saturation patrol or you enter an OUI checkpoint area while boating Arizona’s waterways this summer, don’t worry — if your boat operator is sober and the boat is safe, you’ll quickly be on your way again.
The boat’s driver will be checked to ensure he or she is not endangering others by operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol, and your boat will be assessed for its safety equipment to ensure it meets legal requirements.
Consider Taking A Class
For a responsible and safe boating experience on Arizona’s waterways this summer, consider taking an eight-hour boating education class near you or take it online. For boating education information, please call (623) 236-7325.
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