Stay Cool and Safe on the Salt River and lakes of Arizona: Avoiding Negative Police Contact
As the Arizona summer is starting to heat up, we are all thinking of ways to stay cool despite the scorching sun. Relaxing and taking in the first bright rays of summer, feeling the lingering cool breeze, is the perfect thing to do this Memorial Day Weekend. Some may choose to head to one of Arizona’s great lakes to enjoy the beautiful scenery or to head over to the Salt River to float around with friends and family. It sounds like a great opportunity to unwind and welcome the start of a fantastic summer.
Police patrol the water and land
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that although it may feel like an escape from reality, your actions on the river or these great lakes could have repercussions on your life that far exceed the few hours it takes to float downstream or get across the lake in your new watercraft. Naturally, some people will enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two while floating down the river or boating on the lakes, and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Officers know this. The roads leading out to these escapes are notoriously dark, winding, and deserted, and as a result are frequently patrolled.
Designate a Driver and have more fun on the water
Although you may feel like you are spacing your drinks out over several hours and think you are “fine to drive,” those few drinks can easily catch up to you. Officers take their job very seriously to keep people safe and keep people coming back to enjoy the recreational waters, and therefore if you decide to mix alcohol with your experience, it is best to always have a designated driver for your drive home. What can be said about alcohol consumption can also be said about using recreational drugs such as marijuana.
Underage drinking still illegal on the water
Although you should never use illegal drugs, the dangers of mixing drugs and alcohol lie not just on the road, but on the river and lakes as well. Be mindful of all boating laws. Many underage people think that they can get away with drinking on the water, however the Officers patrol on the river and lakes and its banks and check birthdates frequently. If you are underage and drinking beware because there is no “safe haven” on the water. If you are on a motorized watercraft, here are some common offenses officers look for: http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/boating_safety/arizona_boating_laws.aspx
Drinking on the water can lead to serious charges
DUI, OUI, and/or Minor in Possession charges are criminal offenses, which may result in heavy fines and fees, alcohol/drug education classes, an ignition interlock device on a vehicle, and sometimes jail. These heavy consequences are not to be taken lightly, and so exercise caution while on the water. Finally, know that drugs and alcohol can impair judgment, and anytime water is involved pose a potential health and safety hazard to not only yourself but others. We want everyone to have a safe and fun summer, but please do so responsibly.