Stony Plain, Alberta – During the weekend of July 4 and 5, 2020, Parkland RCMP and local Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers teamed up to patrol the local waterways. The officers ran compliance checks, not only to educate but to ensure safety for boaters and fishermen.
On Saturday, July 4, 2020, 50 boats were checked. Officers wrote several inspection warnings and Alberta Fish and Wildlife laid nine charges.
On Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Wabamun Lake and Jackfish Lake, officers checked over 150 boats and spoke to numerous shore fishermen. Warnings were given out, a few tickets were issued and one person was arrested for impaired operation. Alberta Fish & Wildlife and Parkland RCMP found that there was approximately a 90% compliancy rate, a significant change from two years ago when compliancy was at 50%.
RCMP and Alberta Fish & Wildlife would like to remind the public that the same laws regarding the impaired operation of a conveyance (which includes boats, watercrafts and motor vehicles) apply if you’re on the water or the road.
If a person’s blood alcohol level is between 0.05 to 0.08, the first offence is a minimum $1000 fine, immediate 3-day license suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure. The length of suspension and the number of days the vehicle is seized increases per offence.
If a person’s blood alcohol is over 0.08, the first offence is a minimum $1,000 fine, sustained license suspension, 3-day vehicle seizure, must complete the Government of Alberta’s Planning Ahead course at a cost of $275. The number of days the vehicle is seized and the cost of the impact course increase per offence.
Passengers (never the operator) on a boat are permitted to consume alcohol if the boat meets certain criteria. To legally consume alcohol on a boat, it must be moored or anchored with permanent cooking and sleeping facilities, and a permanent bathroom. If the boat meets those requirements, the passengers are allowed to consume alcohol. Fishing boats and general pleasure-craft don’t meet this criteria, but some house boats do.
Officers will remain visible on the lakes and rivers of the area for the remainder of this season and into the next to ensure the safety of all users. Remember, life jackets for everyone, enjoy your summer and stay safe.
Alberta Fish & Wildlife
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