“Operation Dry Water” Targets Drunk Boaters Over Holiday Weekend

More officers will be patrolling Minnesota lakes

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. –If you’re headed to the lakes in Minnesota this holiday weekend, make sure you’re not being reckless on the water.

The DNR, State Patrol, and Sheriff’s offices are all teaming up to stop people from boating while drunk. It’s part of a campaign called Operation Dry Water.

Many boaters are also keeping safety top of mind.

“Of course young kids, make sure they have their life jackets on, just being aware of your surroundings, that’s the biggest safety tip, is to always know what boats and jet skis are around you, because it doesn’t take long to cause a major problem,” Roscoe Streyle of Minot said.

With all that boat traffic, it’s important to make sure you’re not putting yourself or other boaters in danger.

“You’ve got speed, you’ve waves, you’ve got weather, you’re paying attention to the people on your boat, you forget there’s other boats on the lake, anything can happen out there, sometimes it’s a big boat, little boat, you’ve got a lot of outside factors,” Jacob Swedberg, conservation officer with the DNR, said.

The rules on a boat are the same as in a car, which means your blood alcohol content can’t be over 0.08.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in a car, on a snowmobile, ATV, or on a boat, anytime there’s alcohol consumed it can be detrimental to the outcome,” Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander said.

Both officials and boaters say they usually don’t see too many issues with reckless boaters.

“People are usually pretty careful, in my time on the water, which is many decades, I haven’t really seen any close incidents,” Streyle said.

The boat patrols are out all summer to make sure everyone is safe while having fun.

“If the weekend goes as planned, whether we write a single ticket to not is not the goal this weekend, the goal is for everyone to come out safe at the end of it,” Swedberg said.

Some other safety tips include wearing a lifejacket, watching the weather, and not boating alone.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News