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Iowa law enforcement spends 2,500 hours looking for drunk boaters and get 11 arrests


This news story was published on July 27, 2020.
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Clear Lake boater

DES MOINES – Iowa law enforcement spent 2,500 hours looking for drunk boaters and got 11 arrests over the Fourth of July weekend, it was announced.

Operation Dry Water took place July 3-5, 2020 and focused eliminating boating under the influence (BUI). This year, in Iowa, 140 officers spent over 2,500 hours making contact with over 6,400 boaters on Iowa waterways.

During that enforcement operation, 11 people were arrested for BUI. There were 392 additional citations or warnings issued.

The DNR reminds boaters to always obey these rules:

– Alcohol and boating don’t mix. Wind, sun glare and heat can enhance the effects of alcohol, hindering the operator’s ability to make necessary decisions.

– The same limit of .08 for operating a vehicle under the influence applies to boating.

– Always have a designated operator that avoids consuming alcohol.

– Wear your life jacket, it floats, you don’t! Any children 12 and under must wear a lifejacket at all times on a vessel underway in Iowa.

The DNR Law Enforcement Bureau partnered with DNR State Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dubuque Police Department, Illinois DNR, Nebraska Game & Parks, Wisconsin DNR, Linn County Conservation and the Johnson, Mills, Fremont, Clayton, and Crawford County Sheriff’s Offices.

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12 Responses to Iowa law enforcement spends 2,500 hours looking for drunk boaters and get 11 arrests

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 27, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    So many sidewalk lawyers.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 27, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    It’s like pulling over a car driver at 130am. They assume they have been drinking so they pull you over. VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. That’s why they make up some reason, speeding. license plate light out etc….
    It’s wrong

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 27, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    It’s a violation of constitutional rights if there pulling boaters over for no reason. There has to be probable cause.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 27, 2020 at 10:34 pm

      You can be stopped in a boat at anytime, they have the right to check for life jackets and other required safety equipment.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 27, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    6.400 boaters stopped, I read this to mean 6.399 were stopped without cause

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 27, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    “Operation Dry Water” has been going on for 12 years. Imagine how many lives it has saved in that time. What dollar amount would you put on your life, or a family member.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 27, 2020 at 4:45 pm

      Great question – but I would expect more than ELEVEN BWI tickets in the whole state over the biggest summer holiday weekend for 2500 hours of work.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 27, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    I remember the good old days when there could be less than 10 boats on Clear Lake and I would get a ticket tor going too fast 299 feet from the shore at Farmer’s beach. I wonder how many wave runners stay under 10 mph close to shore these days?

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 27, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    It probably took someone at a state desk 40 hours alone just to come up with the operation’s name! Lol

    A good article highlighting policing practices in our state. Perhaps someone can take heed given the numbers – either charge more people or police it (much) less. At that rate, each ticket would need to generate about $11,400 in fines for the state to break even. This assumes $50/hr for wages/holiday pay/health & retirement benefits, etc. I don’t recall hearing about any alcohol-related boating deaths over the holiday weekend.