Law enforcement step up patrols on the water
Operation Dry Waters aims to crack down on waterway OWIs
MADISON, Wis. — It’s a big weekend for summertime fun. The Fourth of July is right around the corner and this weekend is sure to bring a crowd to the waters.
However, before revelers take part in the celebrations the Department of Natural Resources wants to make sure they think before they drink.
“It’s important to be able to go out and have a good time, but at the same time you have to know your elements,” said Dane County DNR Conservation Warden Jake Donar.
They’re calling it Operation Dry Waters. Law enforcement and DNR officials will be out patrolling the waterways to make sure the festivities don’t get out of hand.
“Even when you’re out boating it’s the same thing as state law for driving where (drivers) have to be at under 0.08 (blood alcohol concentration) in order to be able to legally operate,” Donar said.
Boaters like Janesville resident Brad Bills said there is more room on the water to make a mistake than there is on the roadway.
“Unlike roads, on a lake there are no lanes; therefore everyone has to concentrate and watch where everybody is going,” Bills said.
Boat enthusiast Greg Martin said while he plans to take his boat out this weekend, he will be doing any drinking on land.
“If you have people in the boat with you, you don’t want to put yourself or anyone else at risk,” Martin said. “We will stop in to have a drink or a sandwich, but when you’re out there, it’s better to just enjoy the lake and not overindulge.”
Donar said knowing your limit is the key.
“I mean, it’s a holiday weekend. It’s really warm outside,” he said. “It brings a lot more people out here, and our main initiative is working on that OWI enforcement.”