DUI checkpoint Saturday; Truckee River booze ban begins Tuesday

Kevin MacMillan

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Authorities plan to increase anti-alcohol efforts this weekend as the Fourth of July — and the drunken dangers associated with the summer holiday — approaches.

The California Highway Patrol and Truckee Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday at an undisclosed location in town.

Officers will contact drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, according to a CHP news release.

“Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,” said CHP Capt. Timothy Malone, commander for the department’s Truckee office. “Our objective is to send a clear message to those individuals that mixing alcohol and/or drugs while driving will not be tolerated.”

The checkpoint will operate from 8 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday, according to CHP. Officers will strive to delay motorists only momentarily.

Funding for the checkpoint is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Consuming alcohol along the popular rafting stretch of the Truckee River between the Lake Tahoe dam and River Ranch near Alpine Meadows will be illegal from Tuesday, July 1, through Sunday, July 6.

The ban includes the beach at Chambers Landing on the West Shore. 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.

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).

Additionally, the U.S. Forest Service’s annual alcohol ban will be in effect on Tahoe’s east and south shores at Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals (the former Dreyfus Estate) from 6 a.m. to midnight on July 4.


In Nevada, officials are upping marine patrols this weekend on Lake Tahoe in hopes of cutting back on drunken boating.

Game wardens with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, along with officials with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and National Park Service at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, will target boaters from June 27-29 as part of a nationally coordinated enforcement effort called “Operation Dry Water.”

“We say it many times, drunken boating is dangerous,” said Capt. David Pfiffner, Nevada’s Boating Law Administrator. “People who operate under the influence are just as likely to kill an innocent bystander as him or herself, so stay sober while on the water.”

Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion — stressors common to the boating environment — intensify side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications, he said.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 17 percent of all boat accident fatalities since 2008 were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

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