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Police check uncover boat defects, drunk drivers on Czech lakes

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Prague, July 11 (CTK) – A recent police check of boats on Czech lakes and reservoirs uncovered defects in every thirteenth boat checked and three drunk boat drivers, and fines worth a total of 30,000 crowns were imposed, Martin Hrinko, director of the police squad dealing with the issue, told a press conference on Monday.

The week-long check in late June and early July included 60 inspection operations involving 254 police officers.

They uncovered defects in 33 of the 435 boats checked.

“We checked absolutely everything. All members of the crew are obliged to wear life-preservers, which many failed to do. Some boats were not marked with registration signs appropriately. Some boat drivers entered no-access zones, while others lacked valid licences,” Hrinko said.

The police also checked fishers, boat rentals and wharves.

Hrinko said this was the first big check of its kind because the police previously could not impose fines in connection with water transport. They could only report offences to the State Navigation Administration, which dealt with them.

The police can newly impose fines based on a new law that has been in effect since the beginning of this year.

Hrinko said they want to continue similar checks to find out whether the situation has been improving or worsening. He said the police may impose even tougher fines next time.

State Navigation Administration director Klara Nemcova said recreation boating is the most widespread in water reservoirs in both Bohemia and Moravia.

“The most intensive operation is [on the Vltava River] in Prague,” she said.

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