Minnesota DNR Talks Boat Safety Ahead Of Fourth Of July

They want to make sure everyone who is behind the wheel is sober.

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – As Detroit Lakes gets ready to celebrate Independence day, the DNR is putting a big priority on alcohol and boat safety.

“It’s called operation dry water and it’s actually a year-long program, but this weekend, it’s kind of their weekend to do a big emphasis on getting counties and our agencies and other agencies out in the water to make sure people are boating safely and everything else,” says Jacob Swedberg, a DNR Conservation Officer.

They want to make sure everyone who is behind the wheel is sober.

“In Minnesota is not illegal to have an open container on a boat or to be drinking on a boat, but just like driving a vehicle, you can’t be above that .08 threshold, so if you’re operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, it’s just like operating a vehicle and the consequences are the same,” Swedberg said.

The DNR will also be looking out for other safety concerns.

“Any children under the age of 10 need life jackets, whenever a boat isn’t anchored or on the beach. If someone’s going to sit on the edge on the boat, or up on, a lot of times I see it now with the wakeboarding boats, they’re sitting up on the padded area between the motor and where the person is driving. People need to be actually sitting on the boat , they can be on top like that or up in the railings,” Swedberg said.

Most of all, they say they’re goal is not to arrest anyone or ruin anyone’s day, but to remind people to always have safety as their first priority.

‘If you’re doing everything safe and you’re doing everything right, it’s great to see that. I mean we don’t, we’re not going to come to boats just to bother you or anything like that, we might come check everyone’s doing all right, but in the end, if you’re doing everything safe,” Swedberg said.

The Becker County Sheriff’s Office has three Boat and Water Officers, in addition to three DNR officers who patrol the water.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News