Law Enforcement Targeting Intoxicated Boaters This Weekend
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says Friday marks the start of Operation Dry Water Weekend.
Spokesman Adam Einck says through Sunday, they'll be increasing patrols for boaters operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated. He says during Operation Dry Water weekend, agents will be out in force looking for drunk boat operators.
"We feel that there are a couple of things that most everybody can do to make sure they come home safe from a day on the water," said Einck. "And probably the number one thing is having a sober operator behind the wheel of a vessel."
Usually alcohol is one of the leading contributing factors for fatalities on the water.
Einck say they want people to have fun, but they also want people to have a sober operator of the vessel for the safety of everyone else on the water.
"Usually alcohol is one of the leading contributing factors for fatalities on the water," said Einck. "With our heightened awareness we do feel like we're getting more cooperation from the public, but we can never do enough."
Einck says last year Louisiana had 15 boating fatalities with alcohol playing a role in three or 20 percent which he says is a record low. He says the numbers continue to drop the more enforcement is stepped up.
Einck says many people don't realize that getting a DWI on the water carries the same penalties of getting a DWI on the road.
"That means if you get a DWI behind the wheel of a vessel on the water, you will lose your driving privileges on the road for up to a year," said Einck.