The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and other law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols this weekend to crackdown on boating while intoxicated. It is part of Operation Dry Water, a national campaign designed to reduce alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities. According to DNR conservation officer Greg Salo, alcohol was a contributing factor in 33% of the deadly boating accidents in the state last year. He says: “We would rather be writing tickets to people, arresting people who are operating under the influence than going to tell their family members that they are not coming home or that they are seriously injured, that’s what we’re trying to prevent, we don’t want to get to the bad part of it.
If we can stop it early by taking strong enforcement action, that’s what we’re going to do.” Salo adds that operating a boat with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher is against the law. Last year, a total of 158 people were arrested for BWI in Minnesota.