Keeping the Roads and Waters Safe

OWIS AND THE 4TH

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CLEAR LAKE, IA – Maybe you’re feeling a little blue today, following the fireworks, BBQ’s and parades.

While July 4th has passed on the calendar the long holiday weekend continues. That means extra patrols are in place on the roads and the waters.

KIMT News 3 is looking at what law enforcement officers and a north Iowa business are seeing and doing to keep OWI numbers down in north Iowa.

“We watch very closely people coming in and we watch very closely even more when they go out.”

Gary Laabs is the owner of The Landing Patio Bar and Grill in Clear Lake. He says this week has been the busiest the year old business has ever been.

With big crowds comes the big risk of someone leaving when they shouldn’t drive and it’s not just cars they have to worry about.

It’s a goal of the Landing’s staff to make sure that everyone who leaves here leaves safely, in the cars and their boats.

“I’ve pledged to the DNR that we would do our best to make that happen and to my knowledge there are no incidence that have happened here, and we just want to be lake friendly, that’s all we want to be,” says Laabs.

The 4th of July can be a busy weekend for law enforcement, but according to Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals, nothing was too out of the ordinary.

“Operating while intoxicated offences were about the same as we’ve had in the last few years about one, the Sheriff’s Office arrested about 1,” says Sheriff Pals.

The low number is good news, but the Fourth of July celebrations are not over yet.

Events and celebrations continue throughout the weekend and the patrols will be ready.

“With July 4th on a Thursday it extends the weekend so we’re preparing for more of the normal calls that we get in July,” adds Pals.

Meanwhile, Laabs knows it’s important for people to be responsible but as a business owner, he’s given customers another option, to stay the night.

The Landing is also attached to a hotel so if folks feel like they’ve had too much to drink; they have the option to not drive at all.

“They know they can come watch the lake and sit by the lake, eat by the lake have a few cocktails by the lake, they know they don’t have to drive so that’s an important issue,” adds Laabs.

The number of OWI’s and other alcohol-related incidents reported by the county were about average.

But Sheriff Pals says the number of firework complaint calls were higher than they normally see.

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