Law enforcement out in force for holiday weekend | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Law enforcement out in force for holiday weekend

Susan Wood
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / El Dorado County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Almos cites a driver for passing on a double yellow line outside Meyers on Sunday afternoon.
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Law enforcement can sometimes feel a little too close for comfort over a busy holiday weekend like the Fourth of July.

Take El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Almos, who gave the driver of a Honda sedan a citation at 1:40 p.m. Sunday for passing on a double yellow line near the Lake Tahoe Airport – head-on in front of his vehicle.

Almos said the car merged at 20 yards away, then the long arm of the law greeted the vehicle west of the Lake Tahoe Golf Course.

“He didn’t give me an explanation,” Almos said.

Officers noted patience and courtesy are virtues that sometimes go out the window on a Fourth of July weekend. This one proved no exception – with police scanner calls ranging from the typical for the holiday to the absurd any day of the week.

Calls and cases in town ranged from illegal camping to possession of fireworks.

Lake Valley Fire Capt. Joe McAvoy said his full unit was keeping an ear to the ground for fire calls.

“Even the mildest of smoke bombs can get hot, come in contact with something and start a fire,” he said. “The potential is huge.”

With the exception of 2002’s Gondola fire, alcohol leads the way in setting a tone for most Fourth of July holidays.

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini reminded visitors and residents that consuming alcoholic beverages on the popular Nevada Beach is illegal and can turn into a fine of up to $1,000.

From Thursday to Sunday, nine DUI-related arrests were made by South Lake Tahoe police.

The squawking started Friday when the Nevada Highway Patrol and Division of Wildlife received a call of a bear fatally hit by a vehicle on the south side of Cave Rock off Highway 50 at 12:30 p.m. But a caller reported a white truck hauled it off.

“People steal them all the time,” BEAR League Executive Director Ann Bryant provided her theory Sunday. NHP in Carson City had no information as of press time.

On the California side, CHP Officer Steve Gwaltney characterizes the Fourth of July weekend as one bringing in a diverse group of people “with their own agenda.”

A call came in that a river raft lay in the highway on the Nevada side.

DUIs top the list of reasons to pull drivers over. Most swerve, but motorists who speed up and slow down cue officers. When traffic is slow on Highway 50 in both directions like it was Sunday, seatbelt enforcement becomes easy, he said during a ride-along with the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

The type of call he never gets used to is the one in which someone is killed at the hands of a drunken driver. People have died in his arms.

“They say we’re taking away their freedom in their rights, but you know what, we could save their life,” he said.

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