DES MOINES – The effort by state, federal and local law enforcement agencies to enforce Iowa’s boating while intoxicated law as part of the national Operation Dry Water
campaign resulted in making contact with nearly 800 boaters on more than 200 vessels.
“The number of our boater contacts were lower this year versus previous years primarily due to the flooding on the Missouri River and severe weather limiting the project on the Iowa Great Lakes,” said Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa DNR.
Of the vessels contacted, officials issued 45 warnings or citations and made four arrests for boating while intoxicated.
More than half of Iowa’s boating fatalities involved alcohol. Iowa will have a new lower blood alcohol limit beginning July 1. The current level of .10 BAC will become .08 BAC, which is the same level for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
In 2010, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and its partners contacted more than 250 vessels containing 1,100 boaters resulting in six BWI arrests and 85 citations or warnings as part of Operation Dry Water. The DNR has partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, and local sheriff’s department as part of previous Operation Dry Water campaigns.