Operation Dry Water: Increased presence of wardens, law enforcement to be seen on Wisconsin waters

For the Tomahawk Leader

WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is advising boaters that they will see more DNR conservation wardens and area law enforcement on the water from Saturday, July 1 through Monday, July 3 as part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign.

Wardens and other participating law enforcement agencies will be educating boaters about safe boating practices across the country, which includes sober boating, according to DNR.

Alcohol use is a leading factor in recreational boating fatalities, and nearly 80% of fatal boating incidents involve drowning.

“Since Operation Dry Water started in 2009, law enforcement officers across the nation have taken law enforcement action against 4,700 impaired operators, preventing dangerous and potentially devastating consequences,” DNR stated. “If alcohol is involved in your day of boating, have a designated operator. Operating a boat is no different than driving a car.”

“Boating while impaired continues to be a problem on our waterways,” said Lt. Darren Kuhn, DNR Boating Law Administrator. “As law enforcement, it is our duty to ensure that recreational boaters, paddlers and anyone enjoying our waterways have a safe place to spend their time. The tragedies that result from these boating under the influence incidents are 100% preventable.”

DNR said operating a vessel while impaired is illegal on all bodies of water and can lead to serious injuries, death and legal consequences. In Wisconsin, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.

“Operation Dry Water is a year-round boating-under-the-influence-awareness-and-enforcement campaign with the purpose of reducing the number of alcohol and drug related incidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water,” DNR stated.

Boaters can learn more about boating under the influence by visiting www.operationdrywater.org.

Operation Dry Water is coordinated nationally by the National Association of State Boating Law.

Boaters will see more DNR conservation wardens and area law enforcement on the water as part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign from Saturday, July 1 through Monday, July 3.
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