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AZGFD reminds outdoor enthusiasts to practice OHV, boating safety for July 4 celebrations

Posted July 2, 2019

PHOENIX — The Fourth of July holiday is near and many Arizonans will include outdoor recreation in celebration plans. If operating an off-highway vehicle (OHV) on roads and trails or boating our amazing waterways are part of your plans, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) urges everyone to put safety first.

Off-highway Vehicle Recreation

The Consumer Federation of America reports that most OHV fatalities occur in July, with the highest number of fatalities occurring on Independence Day. There are many actions operators of OHVs — like all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and side-by-sides — can take to ride safely and help ensure the safety of those around them:

It’s also advised that all OHV enthusiasts, whether new to the hobby or veteran riders, take a safety education course. Numerous online courses are designed to teach off-road motorists how to operate their vehicle safely and responsibly. As an added bonus, insurance companies may offer discounted rates for people who have completed an OHV safety class. 

Boating Recreation

Boating while under the influence of alcohol continues to be a major factor in recreational boating deaths and accidents nationwide. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that alcohol was the top contributing factor in fatal boating accidents last year. Although the legal limit for operating a boat in Arizona is .08 blood-alcohol content, an operator is in violation of the law if they are found operating a watercraft while impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol and/or drugs.

When hailed by an officer on the water, the process is similar to being pulled over while driving a vehicle. Here’s what to expect:

For more information on riding an OHV or boating in Arizona, including taking online safety courses, visit