This previous vacation weekend, Utah cops busted five times as many people for smoking weed on boats than they did for ingesting alcohol.
In 2009, state legislation enforcement launched Operation Dry Water, a coordinated effort to cease folks from boating beneath the affect (BUI). Every yr, cops arrange sobriety checkpoints alongside main waterways to make sure that boaters are working safely. On weekends and holidays, there’s a large enhance of cruising site visitors on native rivers and lakes, and with that comes a rise in alcohol-related boating accidents.
“Boating on Utah’s waters is a great way to have fun and relax with friends and family; however mixing alcohol and boating can be a recipe for disaster,” mentioned Ty Hunter, Utah state parks boating program coordinator, according to ABC4. “Impaired boating is no different than driving a car. It decreases your situational awareness, reflexes, and decision-making skills. It puts those in your boat and those around you at risk.”
July four fell on a Saturday this yr, and cops redoubled their BUI enforcement efforts. Over the course of the weekend, officers arrange extra checkpoints throughout Northern Utah’s historically packed waterways. Five state legislation enforcement businesses stopped a complete of 130 boats and over 700 motor automobiles over the weekend and issued citations for open containers, drug possession, and unsafe boating violations.
Although this system is especially focused at drunk boaters, police ended up busting 5 occasions as many individuals for weed than for booze. Cops issued 25 citations for marijuana possession, however solely busted 5 folks for alcohol-related BUIs. A complete of 26 drug paraphernalia citations have been additionally issued, however solely 12 open container violations have been recorded. Officers performed 34 area sobriety checks this weekend, and ended up arresting six folks and impounding 5 boats for alcohol-related BUI violations.
Fortunately, it looks as if police issued citations for the entire cannabis-related offenses, fairly than hauling folks off to jail on a vacation. And the overwhelming majority of all citations issued over the weekend have been for normal boating violations, like failing to have an acceptable variety of life jackets for all passengers.
Adult-use hashish remains to be prohibited in Utah, however the state’s first medical hashish dispensary simply opened its doorways in March. The state’s MMJ program, which was legalized by way of poll vote in 2018, has had a bumpy, sluggish begin. Thankfully, it is regularly expanded regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic. This previous May, state well being officers approved the state’s three present dispensaries to promote medical pot by way of drive-thru and residential supply to assist facilitate social distancing measures.