Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sobriety Blockade - 6-27-09

Sobriety check point blockades are not new here at the Lake of the Ozarks.  During the month of June, the Missouri State Water Patrol participated in a national safe boating campaign that spans virtually every U.S. state and territory.
"Operation Dry Water" is spearheaded by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and aims to raise awareness and reduce the incidence of intoxicated operation of vessels.  Part of that campaign was conducted over the weekend of June 26-28. The Water Patrol conducted multiple sobriety check points on the waters throughout the state during last weekend.
We provide towing services for vessels on which a sober operator cannot be found.  Last Saturday night and well in to Sunday morning, we provided a operator for 4 vessels from the check point. There were a total of nine persons arrested out of 71 boats stopped (see Lake Expo article and LAKE SUN LEADER article).  A sobriety check point on the water is very manpower intensive and requires a great deal of coordination.  The patrol sets up a"Blockade" of patrol boats, sometimes using as many as 12 to 14 patrol boats across the lake (see radar sample) with additional "chase" boats and transport boats in strategic locations.  The checkpoints run for several hours in random locations and often run in to the very early hours of the following mornings.  We provide 2 or 3 Towboats standing by the "line" to provide "sober" operators to get the vessels home if an operator has been arrested.  Not the most favorable job, but thats the way it goes.

No comments: