As part of a national campaign to deter drunken boating, the Department of Natural Resources will conduct an extra enforcement period from June 26-28.

The Minnesota DNR will join other agencies statewide for an intense effort to spread the word about the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Operation Dry Water runs June 26-28. Boaters face stiff penalties for violating the law. Operating a boat with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher is illegal, the same rate as driving a motor vehicle. DNR Conservation Officer Adam Block said in a press release, "Drunk boating is drunk driving. Boaters should be aware that a BWI on your record has the same consequences as a DWI."

Alcohol plays a big role in accidents and fatalities on Minnesota's lakes and rivers. The DNR reports that alcohol was a factor in six of the 14 fatal boating mishaps in 2014. DNR boat and water safety officials suggest that people simply leave alcohol on the shore and practice boating on "dry water."

Officials say they usually see a spike in alcohol-related boating accidents around the Independence Day holiday.

 

DNR conservation officers were joined by the U.S. Coast Guard and Goodhue County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday to announce the kick-off of Operation Dry Water, a national campaign aimed at deterring drinking and boating. Pictured from left: Goodhue County sheriff’s deputies Jordan Winberg and Tyler Riegelman; DNR conservation officers Jason Peterson, Adam Block and Jackie Glaser; and U.S. Coast Guard Boatswain Mate 1st Class John Clarke. Photo courtesy of Minnesota DNR