Authorities patrolling for drunken boaters during 4th of July holiday at Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Authorities patrolling for drunken boaters during 4th of July holiday at Lake Tahoe

Nevada Department of Wildlife officials head out on Lake Tahoe on July 12.
Courtesy of the Abbi Agency |

Game wardens with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, along with law enforcement agencies across Nevada, will be targeting boaters operating under the influence over the Fourth of July weekend.

“It’s been proven year after year, drinking and boating are a terrible combination that often ends in tragedy,” Nevada’s Boating Law Administrator Nevada Game Warden Captain Brian Bowles said in a press release. “Alcohol use can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time and is consistently the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths.”

The state will have officers on every major body of water, including Lake Tahoe and Topaz Lake. Douglas County Sheriff’s Marine 7 will be patrolling the county’s portion of Lake Tahoe.

Operation Dry Water is a nationally coordinated heightened awareness and enforcement campaign, focused on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“When someone drinks while operating a boat, they are putting everyone on the water in danger,” Bowles said in the release. “We want you out on the water with your family enjoying yourselves, but we also want you to make it home safely. That’s why we ask you to save the drinking until you get back to the shore.”

Bowles also points to several boating stressors such as the glare and heat of the sun, motion of the vessel caused by the wind and the waves and the noise and vibration of the engine.

“All of those stressors can cause a person to become tired or fatigued much quicker than on land. Combine that with the dehydration that comes from being out in the sun all day and that alcohol is going to affect you a lot more than you realize.”

For more information on Operation Dry Water, visit operationdrywater.org.