Expect busy Fourth of July weekend

Lights on the Lake is a nationally recognized firework show celebrating the Fourth of July at Stateline.

Lights on the Lake is a nationally recognized firework show celebrating the Fourth of July at Stateline.
Brad Scott Visuals / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

An excessive heat warning through Sunday night is going to spur lots of vacationers climbing to cooler climes this Fourth of July weekend.

Travel sites like AAA Nevada are predicting highest volume of travelers ever with 50.7 million people flying or driving for vacation nationwide.

Concerns about drunken drivers and boaters have authorities issuing warning against imbibing alcohol while either plying the byways or waterways in Douglas County.

“The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is preparing for the upcoming Fourth of July celebration and would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Independence Day,” County spokesman Eric Cachinero said.

Throughout the Stateline casino core area, Zephyr Cove, and Nevada Beach, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada State Police will have increased patrol personnel on duty as well as in the Carson Valley to handle calls for service and traffic enforcement, particularly targeting speeding and intoxicated drivers.

Game wardens from the Nevada Department of Wildlife along with law enforcement agencies from across the state, will be out in force today through the Fourth targeting boaters operating under the influence as part of Operation Dry Water.

“Boating is a great way to spend the 4th of July weekend,” said Nevada Captain Brady Phillips, Nevada’s Boating Law Administrator. “But drinking and boating is a recipe for disaster. Our job is the safety of everyone on the water, and if you’re putting people in danger by drinking and boating you could be leaving the lake in handcuffs.”

Due to the volume of celebrants within the Stateline casino core, Nevada Beach, and Zephyr Cove areas throughout the holiday, DCSO is reminding residents and visitors to be safe and mindful of the laws surrounding the festivities.

Incidents which could result in arrest or citation include acts that place celebrants or law enforcement officers in jeopardy, including fighting, theft, narcotic violations, severe public drunkenness, minors consuming or possessing alcohol, possession of or discharge of fireworks, or any other act that disrupts the ability to have a peaceful and safe environment.

Those planning to be at Nevada Beach on the Fourth should leave the beer cooler at home as any “open container of alcoholic beverage is unlawful.” Any containers, including their contents, will be confiscated for destruction by law enforcement with potential for citation or arrest. The same is true of Zephyr Cove Resort on the Fourth and at Chambers Landing Beach on the West Shore starting today, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

“Each year during these events, a large percentage of contacts and arrests are made of persons under the age of 21,” Cachinero said. “The curfew in Douglas County is midnight on July 4 and throughout the summer. Persons younger than 18 are subject to citation for being in violation of this ordinance. Persons younger than 21 who are in possession of alcohol or under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be subject to arrest. Residents have to be 21 years or older to purchase and consume marijuana. It is still illegal to smoke marijuana in a public place and against the law to drive a vehicle under the influence.”

If you’re imbibing intoxicants, whether on land or sea, the Sheriff’s Office is encouraging people to seek a ride with a sober driver.

“Commit to only driving 100-percent sober,” Cachinero said. “Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people.”

Visit operationdrywater.org for more information on Operation Dry Water.


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