Authorities on the lookout for drunk boaters over fourth weekend in Tahoe

A Nevada Department of Wildlife boat on Lake Tahoe.
Supplied/Abbi Agency

Two boats adrift on Lake Tahoe Tuesday morning kept lifeguards on the East Coast busy in the days leading up to the three-day Fourth of July weekend.

Operation Dry Water weekend, July 2-4, will see amplified boater awareness, education and coordinated boating under the influence enforcement.

Alcohol consumption continues to be the largest known contributing factor in boater fatalities and one of the major contributing factors to boating incidents.



Nevada Department of Wildlife is asking boaters to enjoy this boating season and help keep everyone safe by not drinking alcohol on the water or operating a boat after consuming alcohol . The use of legal and illegal drugs also impairs judgment and reaction time and creates dangerous circumstances while boating.

“Drinking and boating is never a good idea, but it’s a really bad idea this weekend,” game warden Captain Brian Bowles said. “With the amount of law enforcement that will be on the water statewide, if you drink while driving a boat, you could leave the lake in handcuffs.”



The state will have boats on all major bodies of water in Nevada, and other law enforcement agencies are also adding additional officers to many waterways in other parts of the state.

“We’re not trying to ruin anyone’s weekend,” said captain Bowles. “But it’s our job to make sure everyone is safe on the water, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to leave the booze for the ride back to shore.”

NDOW reminds boaters to always boat sober and wear a life jacket when on or around the water. The risk of serious injury is the same for operators and passengers in the event of alcohol. In addition, the consumption of alcohol by passengers presents a danger, whether or not the operator consumes alcohol.

For more information, boaters can go to operationdrywater.orgnasbla.orguscgboating.org or ndow.org.

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