LDWF: Increase enforcement to halt ‘Boating Under the Influence’ during Operation Dry Water weekend July 1-3

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If you plan on hitting the water this 4th of July weekend, expect to see an increased presence from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. It’s called Operation Dry Water – a national effort to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence. Boating Education Coordinator Lt. Garrett Kimble says to expect heightened enforcement.

“We’re going to have a lot of agents that are out doing detections and checks.”

Louisiana reported 29 boating fatalities in 2022, with alcohol playing a role in five fatalities or 17 percent. As of May this year, Louisiana has reported four fatalities.

Kimble says DWI on the water carries the same penalties as on the road and it will also impact your driving privileges on the road.

“DWI on the water is the same as DWI on the land and it’s the same penalties. So for a first offense, it could be fines anywhere from $300 to $1 thousand and up to six months in jail.”

Kimble encourages boaters to designate a sober pilot when on the water.

“We just want our boaters to be aware that we’re going to be out in full force. And we just want them to be responsible and just to avoid driving under the influence and boating under the influence.”

Last year during Operation Dry Water Weekend, LDWF agents arrested 12 boaters for DWI on the water.  Operation Dry Water will take place from July 1 to July 3.

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