Our Opinion: Water Patrol plans sobering emphasis at the lake

Sobriety checkpoints for boaters at the Lake of the Ozarks this month are a timely reminder of the dangers of boating while intoxicated.

The Missouri Water Patrol announced Wednesday it will be conducting checkpoints throughout June to enforce the laws and emphasize safety at the lake.

Now that the Memorial Day holiday has signaled the unofficial start of summer and Missouri temperatures have soared into the 90s, water sports enthusiasts will be gathering at the lake for boating, fishing, swimming and other activities.

Although the state’s waterways are a source of much entertainment and enjoyment, they also can be dangerous.

Impairment caused by intoxication increases those dangers, leading to accidents, injuries and drownings.

During the checkpoints, vessels will be stopped systematically by Water Patrol officers, and efforts will be made to minimize interruptions to the flow of traffic, according to Maj. Thomas E. Roam, director of the patrol division.

The sobriety checkpoints are consistent with the Water Patrol’s mission “to protect and serve the public through law enforcement and education so that residents and visitors can safely enjoy the waters of the state.”

In addition to enforcement, notice the emphasis on education and safe enjoyment of the waterways.

The sobriety checkpoints are announced in advance to deter boaters from violating the law and to intercept those who do.

The overall effort is designed to maximize safety for everyone who enjoys the activities and amenities of the Lake of the Ozarks.

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