Important things to know to celebrate the Fourth safely |

Important things to know to celebrate the Fourth safely

Staff Reports

Thousands of people flocked to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday. Here, families enjoy the view of the fireworks from Reagan Beach.

Douglas County officials are hoping all of the fireworks stay up in the sky during today's Fourth of July weekend.

Real fireworks are illegal for anyone without state certification to possess or use today, and they pose a serious fire hazard.

It is illegal to have or drink alcoholic beverages on Nevada Beach today, Douglas County Sheriff's Spokesman Pat Brooks said.

The ordinance came about to reduce the many acts of drunkenness and violence associated with alcohol consumption that were experienced on the beach in previous years. Any violation of this ordinance is an infraction, punishable by a fine up to $1,000.

Signs pertaining to the ordinance will be posted at the entrance to Nevada Beach on the Fourth of July. The entrance to the beach, as well as the beach itself, will have a heavy presence of law enforcement personnel. Any cooler, backpack, bag, purse or other container that reasonably could carry a vessel containing an alcoholic beverage is subject to inspection and or seizure anywhere inside Nevada Beach Park.

Elks Point Road will be closed at the intersection of Highway 50 no later than 4:30 p.m. At that time, no vehicles will be allowed to enter lower Elks Point Road unless proof of residency or proof of campsite occupancy is established. Elks Point Road will remain closed until the completion of the fireworks display.

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Heavy congestion in the areas of Nevada Beach, Round Hill, Zephyr Cove, lower Kingsbury Grade and the Stateline Casino Core are expected. Lower Lake Parkway may be closed to ingress traffic after the fireworks display should the volume of traffic dictate the need for such a closure. Motorists are cautioned to anticipate delays while traveling in these areas.

The U.S. Forest Service will be enforcing a "No Alcohol" policy in the Zephyr Cove Beach Resort and Campground on the Fourth of July, between the hours of 10 a.m. and midnight. Designated areas for the possession and or consumption of alcoholic beverages shall be established at specific locations at or near the resort. Anyone found in possession of or consuming alcoholic beverages outside of these established areas on federal lands shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000.

Law enforcement has adopted a zero tolerance enforcement approach for those individuals who choose to disrupt the festivities by drunkenness, quarreling, fighting or the possession or discharge of fireworks. A heavy law enforcement presence will be monitoring the celebrations throughout the Stateline Casino area, on Nevada Beach and around the Zephyr Cove Resort areas.

Government offices closed

Local, state and federal offices will be closed today for the Fourth of July holiday. Banks, the U.S. Post Office and The Record-Courier will also be closed.

Offices will reopen on Monday.

Road construction suspended for weekend

Nevada motorists will achieve their freedom from road work this Fourth of July as the Nevada Department of Transportation suspends construction through Sunday.

No construction-related lane closures will take place through Sunday evening on state projects, including Kingsbury Grade, Mount Rose Highway, Highway 50 through Moundhouse and other projects.

"Our top priority is the safety and mobility of our state roads," NDOT District Engineer Thor Dyson explained. "We have very important projects underway to improve some vital area roadways. This temporary construction shutdown is another way we strive to make travel through these projects as easy as possible. Drivers will still see construction equipment staged near the road in project areas, and we encourage motorists to continue to drive safely through those areas."

NDOT also implements similar temporary construction suspensions during major high-traffic events such as Hot August Nights and Street Vibrations.

For further information on major NDOT projects, click the "project" tab at

AAA offers free rides

AAA will offer free rides to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Saturday. Drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 for a free tow home of up to 10 miles. Just tell the AAA operator, "I need a Tipsy Tow," and a truck will be on its way.

The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and vehicle to the driver's home. If there are additional passengers who need a ride, they will be taken to the driver's home as long as there is sufficient room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck. You cannot make a reservation for this service.

According to 2012 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alcohol related crashes accounted for 32 percent of all highway deaths that year, with 82 registered drunk driving fatalities involving drivers with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher. As little as one drink can impair vision, steering, braking, judgment and reaction time.

Nationally, over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2012 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of one for every 165 licensed drivers in the U.S.

William Kent Beach closed

The forest service's William Kent Beach on Lake Tahoe's West Shore will remain closed through the Fourth of July due to ongoing construction to improve water quality. The area will remain fenced off over the holiday weekend. The public will be able to walk up and down the beach, but access to the site will be restricted by construction fencing.

The forest service is redesigning the storm water drain at the beach/day use area to reduce the volume and rate of storm water flowing into Lake Tahoe. The contractor will cut the existing storm water drain pipe and construct a new stream channel in its place. Work on the beach/day use area may extend into 2015, depending on weather and water levels. For questions regarding the project, contact Project Engineer, Katie Kuchenbecker, at 530-543-2620.


Gardnerville: 7 a.m.-noon, Heritage Park. Information,

Minden: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Minden Park, 782-5976

Genoa: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Mormon Station State Park,

Stateline: 9:30 p.m., Lights on the Lake fireworks display

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