LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As the Fourth of July weekend begins, many will be taking their boats out and celebrating on our area lakes, and with more boats, come upgraded patrols with our local law enforcement.
Game Warden Lieutenant Aaron Sims says the game wardens will be increasing their lake patrols this year just like they do every year to make sure people celebrating the holiday on the water do it safely.
Game Wardens will be present on all the lakes around Lubbock including Buffalo Springs Lake and Lake Alan Henry. Sims says they will be on the lookout to make sure everyone is safe and secure while on their boat.
“People want to make sure that they have life jackets, that’s number one, for everyone on board and anyone under 13 has to be wearing a life jacket at all times. We’re also looking for things like fire extinguishers, registration for the actual motorboat, and then a sound-producing device like a whistle or horn. These are things we will be checking on area lakes, conducting stops and making sure that they have them on on board,” LT. Sims said.
Most importantly, game wardens will be making sure the people driving the boats are sober.
“The easiest thing you can do if you're going to have somebody operating your boat is designate a sober operator. Something we will be checking for is people that are not intoxicated while operating a motorboat,” said LT. Sims.
Last year on July 4th, LT. Sims says the game wardens issued 57 tickets and 3 arrests for drinking while boating in West Texas. “More and more people are enjoying the great outdoors, which include the lakes of Texas. We're seeing an uptick in numbers as far as citations, and boating while intoxicated cases. This is not due to non-enforcement. We're out every single week. It's just more people are moving into Texas, and they're enjoying the waterways, which is great. We want them to do that, but we want them to do so in a safe manner.”
LT. Sims says if you see someone during this holiday weekend drinking and boating, he encourages you to call the authorities.