Law enforcement agencies prep for busy holiday weekend on Lake Havasu

May 22, 2019

Lake Havasu City is expecting a swell of visitors this Memorial Day weekend, and local law enforcement agencies are preparing to maintain public safety on land as well as sea.

Lake Havasu City police officers will be conducting enhanced DUI enforcement from Friday through Monday. An increased police presence, in boats and off-road vehicles, is expected in the areas of Bridgewater Channel and the Island, according to Lake Havasu City Police Sgt. Tom Gray.

“The amount of officers may vary depending on the level of activity in those areas,” Gray said. “Supervisors will be able to adjust manpower as necessary to address any areas of concern.”

According to Gray, police see an increase in alcohol-related offenses during holiday weekends, and the Lake Havasu City Police Department will work with other law enforcement agencies including the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department to educate visitors and enforce laws on and off the water.

The Lake Havasu City Police Department is responsible for patrolling the area of Bridgewater Channel, but Lake Havasu itself lies in the jurisdiction of the Mohave and San Bernardino County sheriff’s offices. Last Memorial Day, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Division of Boating Safety responded to two accidents, 25 calls for boater assistance and issued 18 boating citations.

According to Mohave County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kyler Cox, the department will be staffing Mohave County waterways including Lake Havasu and the Colorado River with boating safety officers.

“Deputies will be on the lookout for any violation of Arizona law,” Cox said. “Emphasis will be put on safety violations including children without life jackets, reckless operations and alcohol offenses. Deputies will make many contacts throughout the weekend, and will try to educate the public on boating laws and safety regulations any chance they get.”

According to Cox, the Boating Safety Division will take a proactive approach in preventing boating accidents with injury or death this weekend. Deputies and water safety officers have maintained an active presence in Mohave County communities, Cox said, and routinely educate the public on boating safety and the importance of wearing a life preserver.

“While on the water, we speak with many people not only when they are doing something wrong, but when they do things right,” Cox said. “We partnered with Burgers by the Bridge, and hand out cards for a free ice cream cone when we see kids wearing their life jackets. The way the kids and parents light up is amazing, and it leaves a lasting impression in the kids’ minds about the importance of wearing a life jacket.”

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will patrol Havasu’s western shores, with enhanced patrols by land, sea and air, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Cpl. Travis Vessells. Deputies are expected to deploy from the Nevada state line to the Riverside County line, and will be monitoring for boaters who are reckless or operating under the influence of alcohol.

Since 2017, all California boaters 16 to 25 years old are required to have in their possession a California Boater Education Card, issued by the California Division of Boating and Waterways.

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