Arrests for drunken boating plummet on Missouri waterways

4 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, November 26 2015 Nov 26, 2015 Thursday, November 26, 2015 10:31:13 AM CST November 26, 2015 in News
By: The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY (AP) - Arrests for drunken boating on Missouri waterways have fallen by 63 percent since the Missouri State Water Patrol merged with the Highway Patrol.

State records show that arrests for boating while intoxicated fell from 352 in 2010, the last year before the merger, to 131 in 2014. So far this year, the arrest total stands at 131.

Gov. Jay Nixon initially sought to combine the departments to save money. The legislation passed despite concerns from water patrol officials who warned lawmakers that it could hurt services. Merger proponents have since faced questions, in part because a 20-year-old handcuffed man in patrol custody drowned on May, 31, 2014, at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Patrol spokesman John Hotz noted that the number of crashes involving impaired boaters also is down.

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