Missouri State Highway Patrol Cracks Down on Drunk Boaters
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is participating in Operation Dry Water this weekend.
Operation Dry Water is a national effort to crack down on impaired boaters. The Missouri Marine Operations of the highway patrol will be patrolling waters for boat operators who have a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher.
Captain Tim Hull, the director of the Public Information and Education Division for the highway patrol, said the highway patrol's participation in the program is a great way to bring attention to an important problem.
"By participating in these types of programs it brings public awareness to the issue of boating while intoxicated and just how dangerous it can be," Hull said.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol has participated in Operation Drywater for several years. Last year, officers all over the nation removed 290 boating while intoxicated (BWI) operators from the water. A total of 17,159 citations and warnings were issued. In Missouri alone, troopers arrested 14 people for BWI and issued 114 boating violation summonses.
"It would be nice if we didn't have to enforce the boating while intoxicated laws at all, but we know that people are enjoying summer by boating and swimming," Hull said. "A lot of times a part of that celebration or relaxation is that they consume alcohol."
Hull said that while the highway patrol will be at lakes and rivers throughout the state, Lake of the Ozarks remains the biggest concern. Hull said that he recommends to wear a life jacket to ensure safety in the water at all times.