Wisconsin law enforcement net 344 citations as part of Operation Dry Water
Danielle Kaeding Wisconsin Public Radio Wisconsin law enforcement arrested more people and issued more citations on inland lakes during the July 4th holiday weekend this year than last year as part of Operation Dry Water. The annual nationwide ca...
Wisconsin Public Radio
Wisconsin law enforcement arrested more people and issued more citations on inland lakes during the July 4th holiday weekend this year than last year as part of Operation Dry Water. The annual nationwide campaign seeks to cut back on the number of drug- or alcohol-related accidents on the water.
More than 200 officers from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and 37 agencies took part in the enforcement campaign. Dave Zebro, regional conservation warden with the DNR, said they contacted more than 10,000 boaters this year - twice the number of boaters they interacted with last year.
He said good weather brought more people out on the water, but the number of arrests for boating under the influence increased only slightly.
"We had six more BUI arrests this year, but everything went fairly smooth," he said of boating under the influence.
The highest blood alcohol content recorded was .209. Zebro said officers issued 344 citations this year, about a 70 percent increase over last year.
"Kind of the common violations are people that do not have the proper number of life jackets. That’s a safety violation that we’re fairly strict on. Each boat has to have a wearable life jacket for the occupant," he said. "A boat that is 16-feet or longer also has to have a throwable life jacket. We certainly use our discretion with those, but, if we don’t have enough life jackets, people are subject to a citation for that. Boat registration is also a violation that occurs commonly."
More than 1,500 safety warnings were issued during the enforcement campaign - twice as many as last year. Officers arrested 30 people for boating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
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