INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A DUI checkpoint, increased bicycle patrols and a week-long Truckee River alcohol ban are on tap next week for the busy Fourth of July weekend.
The checkpoint will occur at an undisclosed time on Thursday, July 4, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and Highway 28 at Spooner Summit, said Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Randy Jackson.
The department usually conducts the checkpoint for drunken drivers in Incline Village, Jackson said. The location is moving east of town due to the Sand Harbor shuttle operating heavily on the Fourth along the East Shore.
NHP will host an influx of motorcycle officers throughout the Nevada side of the Tahoe Basin from the Fourth through next weekend, Jackson said, focusing on traffic, pedestrian and DUI enforcement.
“We want everybody to be aware that pedestrian traffic is going to increase, and people need to know … to just pay attention and be cautious,” Jackson said.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will assist NHP in ensuring a safe holiday weekend in Incline Village, said Capt. Duane Meyer.
Aside from increased patrols, deputies will enforce a no-parking rule along Lakeshore Boulevard between Country Club and Village boulevards all day on July 4.
Further, the road will be closed to traffic from 8 p.m. until well after the fireworks crowds vacate the beaches. The Red, White and Tahoe Blue fireworks are scheduled to begin at roughly 9:30 p.m. next Thursday and last a half hour.
Meyer said residents and visitors also should be wary of “crimes of opportunity” next week.
Often, thieves will roam parking lots and side streets in search of unlocked vehicles or those with iPhones and other valuables visible.
“Make sure your valuables are left at home, lock your cars and don’t leave anything in plain sight,” he said.
Truckee River alcohol ban
Consuming alcohol along the popular rafting stretch of the Truckee River between the Lake Tahoe dam and River Ranch in Tahoe City will be illegal from Monday, July 1, through Saturday, July 6.
The ban includes the beach at Chambers Landing on the West Shore, said Placer County Sheriff’s Office Lt. John Weaver. While Chambers Landing was added in 2012, the ban was first imposed in 2008 by the Placer County Board of Supervisors to address problems with rafters, such as driving under the influence, indecent exposure and fighting.
“It helps with the 30 or 45 fights we have with drunk people along the river,” Weaver said Tuesday.
Violations are punishable by a fine of $150 for the first, $500 for the second, and $1,000 for the third occurrence (within a calendar year).
The California Highway Patrol will use grant money to have increased bicycle officer patrols in the Kings Beach and Tahoe City areas from July 4-7.
While CHP in the past has brought more motorcycles up for the Fourth, CHP Sgt. Eric Strecker said the transition to bicycles helps with costs while still keeping the roads safe.
“We look at the Fourth of July as our biggest time of the year; we quite literally will be all hands on deck,” he said. “We’ll be aggressively looking to apprehend anybody that’s driving under the influence.”
Typically, CHP patrols two to seven officers on bicycles during the summer; next weekend’s enforcement should double, he said.
PCSO and the Truckee Police Department also plan to up bike patrols next weekend, officials said this week.
“With the Fourth on a Thursday, we have the potential for an entire week of record crowds,” said PCSO Capt. Jeff Ausnow. “Our plan is to throw everything we have at it. Our No. 1 goal is the safety of the visitors to Tahoe and to make sure very one has a good time without tragedy.”