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Boating checkpoint nets six arrests

The 2007 boating season won’t officially begin until Memorial Day weekend, but state game wardens are already finding boaters who are operating their vessels while under the influence of alcohol. OUI is the acronym for operating under the influence, the boating equivalent of DUI. Six boaters were arrested during an OUI checkpoint May 5 at Katherine Landing on Lake Mohave.

The six individuals arrested for OUI had blood alcohol levels higher than the legal limit of .08.

Saturday’s checkpoint was a multiagency effort involving game wardens from the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Arizona Department of Game & Fish along with rangers from the National Park Service.

Officers checked 177 boats during the checkpoint, made the six arrests for OUI and issued 40 citations for other violations. These numbers were unexpected for a checkpoint this early in the season.

“I was surprised by the number of people cited because of the poor weather conditions and the fact that we are not really in the prime boating season yet,” said David Pfiffner, supervising game warden for NDOW. “People need to know that we will arrest drunken boaters and they will be taken to jail.”

The 40 citations written during the checkpoint were for violations such as failing to have a sufficient number of life jackets for the people on board, failure to carry a fire extinguisher and not having a Type IV throwable cushion on board a vessel.

The checkpoint at Katherine Landing is part of the ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of drunken boaters who are operating on the lower reaches of the Colorado River, including Lake Mead, Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu.

If you have any questions or would like information about taking a boating safety course, visit www.ndow.org.


Register boats early to avoid pre-holiday rush

If you are not one of those rare individuals who really enjoys standing in long lines, then waiting until the week just before the Memorial Day weekend to register your boat is probably not the best idea. The extended holiday weekend is perhaps the busiest boating weekend of the year and those who have put off registering their boats will be standing in line at Nevada Department of Wildlife offices throughout the state.

“It would be a mistake to wait until the week right before the holiday. Boaters can expect delays and long lines. That week is one of the busiest of the year,” said Kathy Teligades who supervises the NDOW boat registration program in Las Vegas.

Registration renewals can be completed online (www.ndow.org), but it will take at least 10 days for new decals to arrive in the mail. Any newly purchased vessel, whether it is a new boat or used, must be registered at the NDOW Las Vegas office or in Henderson. The Las Vegas office is located at 4747 Vegas Drive near Decatur Boulevard. The Henderson office is located in the Kmart shopping center at the corner of Racetrack Road and Boulder Highway.

For more information, visit www.ndow.org.

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