Law Enforcement Encourages Safety on 4th of July - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Law Enforcement Encourages Safety on 4th of July

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The Fourth of July is one of the busiest travel days of the year. But it's also a holiday that often sees a spike in drivers under the influence of alcohol.

Law enforcement officials are hoping that trend will change.

More than 3 million Mountain West residents are expected to travel at least 50 miles, this weekend.

With so many people on the roads the Nevada Highway Patrol is asking that if you drink, don't get behind the wheel.

"Designate your wife, designate your husband, designate your best friend, but don't designate the person in your group who simply has had the least amount of alcohol," Trooper Chuck Allen said.

Several law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for drunk drivers, with extra troopers, officers, and deputies on duty.

They're using grant money to set up a DUI checkpoint on Highway 50, near Lake Tahoe.

"We would like to see zero arrests because we want the word to get out to people talking about DUI checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols, and just being safe and responsible everyday you operate a motor vehicle," Allen said.

That includes operating a boat.

A higher number of people is expected at our area lakes, which could mean more congestion, adding to the importance of drinking alcohol responsibly.

"It's about being safe, not becoming involved in a crash, and I guess for most people, it's avoiding a trip to jail," Allen said.

And of course, Independence Day wouldn't be the same without fireworks.

But it's illegal for people to use or have them in their possession.

"In this area, in this environment, with this type of heat, temperature, and wind, fireworks become very dangerous because they can start a fire quickly before you have a chance to control it," Assistant Fire Marshal Chris McCubbins, Sparks Fire Department said.

Fireworks also tend to become more dangerous, the older they get.

"It dries out, the wick will react quicker than it's supposed to and burn faster," McCubbins said.

If you have any fireworks, the Sparks Fire Department is asking that you turn them in to them, no questions asked.

They use them for training purposes.

Written by Paul Nelson
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