The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint on a Maricopa County lake this weekend in an effort to apprehend boat operators who are impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Past Arizona OUI checkpoint data indicate that more than 50 percent of boat operators are involved with the consumption of alcohol while operating watercraft.
Since 1998, 40 percent of all Arizona boating fatalities (42 out of 105) have involved alcohol.
“Although consuming alcohol on a boat is not against the law, people need to also know that the operator cannot be impaired by alcohol or drugs to the slightest degree,” said Kevin Bergersen, state boating law administrator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
State law prohibits the operation of a motorized watercraft with a BAC of .08 or higher, the same as for motor vehicles.
Recent boating accidents and associated fatalities in Arizona underscore the need for enhanced enforcement of this law.
For boat safety information, including boating education course information, call (623) 236-7235 or go to www.azgfd.gov/boating.