Operation 'Dry Water' is all about sober-boating

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- We often hear the message don't drink and drive your car, but maybe don't realize it also applies to boats and other recreational vehicles.

With the 4th of July weekend approaching the Department of Natural Resources is on the lookout for those who don't follow the rules on the waters.

DNR Conservation Warden Scott Thiede says the goal behind the 5th annual Operation "Dry Water' - is to encourage boaters to stay sober.

“Even passengers, if they're intoxicated the risk of injury or death is significantly increase should they fall overboard; if there is even a minor crash and you end up in the water, alcohol really limits your ability to help yourself,” explained Thiede.

“Stuff can happen out here; this boat goes like 60 miles an hour, stuff can happen pretty fast,” added boating enthusiast Corey Pierce.

Corey Pierce has been boating since he was three-years-old.
He says a motor boat can be a dangerous machine if the operator is not alert.

“You don't have a seat belt, you don't have an air bag; if you fall in the water, and you're not going to float,” added Pierce.

“There will be a lot of conservation wardens, not only with the Wisconsin DNR but municipal boat controls as well,” said Thiede.

The blood alcohol limit of .08 applies to all drivers, whether its boats, cars or ATVs and snowmobiles.

Those who are caught driving a boat under the influence will be removed from the water, arrested and cited nearly 500 hundred dollars.

“A lot of times folks would, and I see it at the boat landing, they'll come in and when they walk to get their boat trailer they look a little bit tipsy; and if they're not stopped their the next crash on the highway,” added Thiede.

The DNR says if an officer doesn't see you drinking, don't assume you're in the clear; other people are watching, and anyone can make a call to the DNR Violation Hotline (1-800-847-9367).

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