Nebraska Game and Parks to conduct patrols to reduce alcohol-related accidents

July 2, 2018, 3:55 a.m. ·

Conservation officers from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are conducting special patrols in Lancaster and Gage County in an attempt to deter alcohol-related vehicle and boat accidents.

The patrols will take place on state recreation areas and other property managed by Game and Parks within Lancaster and Gage County through September 3. The commission says the patrols will typically take place over the weekend.

A grant from the Nebraska Department of Transportation-Highway Safety Office will contribute to the funding of these patrols.

Game and Parks Law Enforcement Administrator Craig Stover says the commission’s primary concern is public safety.

“Our primary goal in all of this is just to curtail the abuse of driving while you’re impaired, both on the water and on the roadways,” Stover said.

According to Stover, alcohol is the leading contributor to boating deaths each year. For Nebraska, however, the number of alcohol-related boating deaths is lower. While the number of fatalities has dipped within the state, Stover said alcohol is often a contributor to serious boating accidents.

Rules and regulations can become murky when operating a boat, Stover said.

“There’s no stop signs, there’s no yield signs, there’s no roadway that you have to stay on,” Stover said. “…A boater can go absolutely anywhere and people can be out with their families with several people in a boat and one impaired operator can do a lot of damage.”

When it comes to staying safe while drinking, Stover says there is only one thing to do.

“It’s the number one golden rule,” he said. “Have a designated driver.”