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Operation Dry Water starts July 1

  • 6/20/2023 2:33:00 PM
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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 national Operation Dry Water campaign to draw public attention to the hazards of boating under the influence.

“We will conduct boating while intoxicated focused enforcement statewide with increased patrols, check points, and be administering breath tests and working to inform the public on the hazards involved on the waters across Iowa,” said Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa DNR.

Operation Dry Water is July 1-3.

“One-third of all boating fatalities nationally involved alcohol and many of those victims were innocent bystanders,” she said.

“The effects of alcohol can be intensified when combined with wind and wave action and an extended time spent in the sun. Operators may not think they are under the influence, but their judgment, reaction time, balance and vision indicate that they are,” Stocker said.  

In 2022, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its partners contacted more than 1,425 vessels containing 5,253 boaters resulting in 533 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 police and sheriff’s departments as part of previous Operation Dry Water campaigns.

2022 top areas for BWI arrests

  • Okoboji: 7
  • Coralville Reservoir: 6
  • Mississippi River: 5
  • Missouri River: 5
  • Rathbun Reservoir: 5
  • Total BWI: 36

 2021 top areas for BWI arrests

  • Mississippi River: 8
  • Coralville Reservoir: 6
  • Missouri River: 3
  • Okoboji: 3
  • Rathbun Reservoir: 3
  • Total BWI: 31

2020 top areas for BWI arrests

  • Rathbun Reservoir: 8
  • Mississippi River: 6
  • Coralville Reservoir: 4
  • Okoboji: 2
  • Saylorville Reservoir: 2
  • Total BWI: 26

2019 top areas for BWI arrests

  • Mississippi River: 22
  • Coralville Reservoir: 15
  • Saylorville Reservoir: 10
  • Cedar River: 5
  • Lake Manawa: 2
  • Total BWI: 66

2018 top areas for BWI arrests:

  • Saylorville Reservoir: 9
  • Coralville Reservoir: 5
  • Lake Manawa: 5
  • Okoboji: 5
  • Lake Panorama: 4
  • Total BWI: 39