On a hot summer day, nothing can be more relaxing than time spent on one of our local lakes. What many don’t realize is that there is often trouble on the water that could put you and your family in danger. No I am not talking about a mysterious lake creature, I am talking about a person operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Over the weekend, boating under the influence checkpoints were held on Castaic and Pyramid Lake to rid the lakes of any dangerous boaters to ensure a safe boating experience.
On Saturday at Castaic Lake, 14 boats were checked and two boat operators were arrested for boating under the influence.
12 boats were checked on Sunday evening on Pyramid Lake, and one boat operator was arrested for boating under the influence.
“[The checkpoints] reduce any potential accidents” said Sgt. Roger Wallace.
If a boater has a blood alcohol content at or above .08% the boater will be arrested for boating under the influence. Most BUI’s are considered misdemeanors and are punishable by up to one year in county jail or $1,000 fine or both.
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BUI’s that result in injury to another person are much more serious and are considered felonies and may result in a longer jail term and higher fines.
While many do not see drinking and boating as a serious issue, there are many responsibilities that go along with operating a boat that can be forgotten when alcohol or drugs become involved. Impaired vision, focus, coordination, and judgment can put you, passengers of your boat, and other occupants of the lake in danger.
The checkpoints are there to better enforce the idea that drinking and boating is dangerous, and, in many instances, fatal.
Practicing safe boating and refraining from any alcohol consumption while operating a boat can save lives and keep lakes safe.