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Operation Dry Water to Start June 28
Posted: 06/18/2013
DES MOINES - A group of state, federal and local law enforcement agencies will partner to focus enforcement of Iowa’s boating while intoxicated law as part of the June 28-30 national Operation Dry Water campaign to draw public attention to the hazards of boating under the influence.

“More than 70 percent of Iowa’s boating fatalities in 2012 involved alcohol and many of those victims were innocent bystanders,” said Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  “We will increase patrols, conduct check points, administer breath tests and inform the public on the hazards involved on the waters across Iowa as part of Operation Dry Water.”  

Operators may not think they are under the influence, but their judgment, reaction time, balance and vision indicate that they are, Stocker said.

“The effects of alcohol can be intensified when combined with wind and wave action and an extended time spent in the sun,” she said.

In 2012, the Iowa DNR and its partners contacted nearly 550 vessels containing more than 2,000 boaters, resulting in 136 citations or warnings as part of Operation Dry Water.  The 2012 effort was conducted on the Mississippi River Pool 15, the Coralville Reservoir, Saylorville Reservoir, North Twin Lake, Storm Lake and the Missouri River.

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.

2012 top 5 highest areas for BWI arrests
Mississippi River: 32
Saylorville Lake: 16
Okoboji: 15
Coralville: 14
Clear Lake: 6
Total BWI: 95

2011 top 5 highest areas for BWI arrests:
Mississippi River: 19
Coralville Reservoir: 13
Saylorville Lake: 13
Okoboji: 4
Clear Lake: 3
Total BWI: 55
2010 top 5 highest areas for BWI arrests:
Mississippi River: 10
Saylorville Lake: 6
Coralville Reservoir: 5
Missouri River: 4
Clear Lake: 3
Total BWI: 40

2009 top 5 highest areas for BWI arrest:
Okoboji: 7
Missouri River: 6
Mississippi River: 5
Saylorville Lake: 5
Clear Lake: 2
Total BWI: 32

2008 top 5 highest areas for BWI arrests:
West Lake Okoboji: 10
Mississippi River: 5
Missouri River: 5
Saylorville Lake: 2
Clear Lake: 2
Total BWI: 35