BASS LAKE-The three day 4th of July holiday weekend coincides with Operation Dry Water’s (ODW) annual Heightened Enforcement Weekend, a boating under the influence (BUI) awareness campaign aimed at reducing the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Boat Patrol Unit had this to report about 4th of July weekend 2022:
On July 4, 2022 around 5:30pm, Madera County Boat Patrol Deputies observed a jet ski traveling the wrong direction on Bass Lake into oncoming boat traffic near Millers Landing.
A vessel stop was conducted on the jet ski operator (male driver) and female passenger. Boat Patrol Unit Sergeant Roussell conducted seated field sobriety tests, which determined the operator to be under the influence of alcohol. A blood alcohol test was administered and registered at .24; three times the legal limit.
The male operator was arrested for misdemeanor charges of Operating watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and operating watercraft with a blood alcohol level over .08%.
Sheriff Tyson Pogue, who was on board the Sheriff’s Patrol Vessel at the time of the stop, remarks, “I applaud our Boat Patrol Unit’s keen eye and swift action mitigating this potentially tragic incident during the busy Fourth of July holiday. Their commitment to keeping Bass Lake safe for all who come to recreate is critical for making our lake such a popular destination for residents and visitors alike.”
Throughout the 4th of July holiday weekend, MCSO Boat Patrol Unit made 3 additional BUI arrests on Bass Lake.
More information about ODW can be found here.