DNR Conservation Officers On The Lookout For Intoxicated Boat Operators

DES MOINES – State, federal and local law enforcement agencies will be focusing on the boating while intoxicated law as part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign to draw public attention to the hazards of boating under the influence.

Iowa DNR Conservation Officers will be heavily patrolling Iowa waterways over the Fourth of July holiday and during the Operation Dry Water campaign, July 5 – 7. The DNR will be conducting heightened awareness and enforcement of boating under the influence laws in hopes to decrease the number of crashes, causing injuries and deaths and remove any impaired boat operators, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for boaters this season.

“The effects of alcohol can be intensified when combined with wind and wave action and an extended time spent in the sun. Operators may not think they are under the influence, but their judgment, reaction time, balance and vision indicate that they are,” said Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa DNR.

Tips to staying safe on the water this summer:

Boat sober.Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths*. Alcohol and drug use impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
Wear your life jacket.
Take a boating safety education course.
Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal on all navigable waters of the State and can lead to serious injuries and consequences. In Iowa, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a BAC level of .08 or higher – the same as it is to operate a vehicle. If you are found to be impaired and operating a boat you will face the consequences.

2018 top areas for BWI arrests
Saylorville Lake: 9
Okoboji: 6
Coralville: 5
Lake Manawa: 5
Total BWI: 38

2017 top areas for BWI arrests
Saylorville Lake: 10
Mississippi River: 5
Okoboji: 5
Lake Manawa: 3
Total BWI: 39

2016 top areas for BWI arrests
Saylorville Lake: 17
Coralville: 7
Mississippi River: 6
Wapsipinicon River: 4
Total BWI: 46

2015 top areas for BWI arrests
Mississippi River: 16
Saylorville Lake: 13
Coralville: 6
Okoboji: 6
Total BWI: 54

2014 top areas for BWI arrests
Mississippi River: 12
Coralville: 8
Clear Lake: 5
Des Moines River: 4
Total BWI: 41



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