By: WAFB Intern Raven Dunlap
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - During Operation Dry Water this past weekend, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested five boaters from Friday, June 22 to Sunday, June 24th for operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI).
"We want everybody on the water to have a good time, but to keep in mind that they need a designated driver just like on land", said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne.
In Louisiana, DWI's on the water carry the same penalties and fines as on the road, which includes jail time, fines, and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.
Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.
Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne stated, "We take DWI enforcement on the water very serious since the leading cause of boating fatalities is alcohol."
Alcohol can impair a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. Sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medication.
Louisiana has had 36 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2011 with alcohol listed as the primary cause.
For more information on Operation Dry Water visit : www.operationdrywater.org.