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Drunk Boating Effort This Weekend

KSAL Staff - June 26, 2015 10:00 am

Wildlife and law enforcement officers will mobilize this weekend across Kansas to enforce Boating Under the Influence laws as part of a national effort.

“Operation Dry Water” is scheduled for this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Operation Dry Water is an education and enforcement weekend aimed at reducing alcohol and drug related accidents and fatalities both on the road and on the water. Held each year during the weekend before the 4th of July holiday, Operation Dry Water is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in partnership with states, the U.S. Coast Guard and other partner organizations.

During the three-day “Operation Dry Water”effort this weekend law enforcement officers at local, state and federal levels will be on heightened alert for those violating boating under the influence laws.

The KDWPT Law Enforcement Division averages approximately 11 special enforcement efforts over the ODW weekend, resulting in four to eight BUI arrests each year.

During Operation Dry Water, officers will be out in force looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of 0.08. The weekend will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, life jacket checks and boater education. Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face other serious penalties.

Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism officers are responsible for patrolling the waters of Kansas and conducting boat accident investigations, boat safety inspections, BUI checks, safety programs, education classes and other boating related activities.

In Kansas, the consequences for BUI include fines, jail and loss of boating privileges.

This effort is timed to give BUI enforcement high visibility before the Fourth of July, traditionally one of the busiest recreational boating weekends of the summer.

Last year, heavy rain statewide reduced the amount of boat traffic and forced the cancellation of three-fourths of the planned Operation Dry Water activities.

Nevertheless, wardens made two BUI arrests during the reporting period, one boater at Kanopolis Reservoir and one boater at El Dorado Reservoir.

Three boaters were tested for BUI at Wilson Reservoir and all three were found to be under the legal limit to operate a boat.

At Cedar Bluff Reservoir Friday night, 12 citations for minor in possession/consumption of alcohol and one citation for furnishing alcohol to minors were issued.

One boat accident was investigated at Wilson Reservoir, where a boat caught fire and was destroyed. It appears the operator started the inboard/outboard boat before ventilating the engine compartment, leading to the fire. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

In other activities, an investigation in Trego County into the illegal poaching of three wild turkeys and 14 mourning doves that were killed in closed season was completed, resulting in 15 citations being issued for these poachings.

At Middle Creek State Fishing Lake south of Louisburg on June 27, game wardens issued one citation for driving off roadway, two citations for possession of alcohol on state property in violation of posted notice and issued a warning for no personal floatation device on board a vessel.

City of Salina