Gregg County game warden urges driver sobriety, boater safety July 4 weekend

Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 3:43 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2022 at 12:00 PM CDT
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GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - East Texas law enforcement is making sure they have a high profile to travelers and boaters, all in an effort to keep this Fourth of July weekend a safe one.

An increased presence by law enforcement this holiday weekend on the roadways and the waterways is all part of a ongoing effort to not only enforce the rules, but stop impaired driving.

“Utmost importance, especially on a holiday weekend with increased crowds. Especially with the added crowds, we’re going to be checking for that alcohol consumption. particularly the operator. On boats like on land, boating while intoxicated, BWI, you can go to jail, lose your license. We’ll be doing the full sobriety test on operators,” says Gregg county game warden Todd Long.

The reason this message is given over and over every year, is that law enforcement wants to avoid the inevitable tragedy.

“We want to avoid that tragedy that occasionally we do run across as game wardens. That drowning situation, that boating accident. We don’t like writing tickets or putting people in jail but if it saves a life, keeps a boater or swimmer safe, we’re going to do our jobs,” Long says.

A cooperative effort through DPS, ‘Operation Holiday’ will run July 2 through July 4, targeting drivers who violate traffic laws.

The primary goal is to enforce the safety rules that are already in place on road and water.

“Absolutely remember your life-jacket. The fire extinguishers, the throw cushions, registration, kill switches that have to be attached to the operator. People need to drink responsibly or avoid alcohol,” the game warden says.

Long says , just like driving a car, if alcohol is being consumed, boaters should have a designated driver as well.

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