Iowa Lakes and Rivers — Authorities tell us we are approaching the busiest time for boating on Iowa’s waters. So it’s a good time to think about boating safely.
An effort called “Operation Dry Water” is wrapping up today as federal, state and local law officers look to prevent drunken boating. The Iowa D-N-R’s boating law administrator, Susan Stocker, says officers make their presence known on the state’s lakes and rivers in the operation.
(as she says)”Last year we were able to check approximately 11-hundred boaters and we contacted more than 354 vessels that were out there,” Stocker says.
Stocker says boating drunk can have severe consequences for you and your passengers.
(as she says)”More than 71 percent of our boating fatalities in 2014 involved alcohol. So we are stepping up the effort….in order to curb the intoxicated boater who wants to operate a boat,” Stocker says.
She says there is a simple step you should take to keep things safe.
(as she says)”Make sure that you do have a designated driver — just like if you were driving a car you would have a designated driver — to operate a boat. And or, wait until you are done for the afternoon to enjoy a beverage on the shore,” Stocker says.
The blood alcohol level for boating while intoxicated was reduced in 2001 from point-one (.10) percent to point-zero-eight (.08) percent to make it the same level as driving a car while intoxicated.
DNR officials also say while the letter of the law says that you only have to have a personal flotation device or “PFD” for everyone in the boat, they say you’re much safer wearing them at all times because in an emergency you may not have time to find your PFD .