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Minnesota DNR to institute ‘Operation Dry Water’ July 2-4

Due to Minnesota’s waterways being extraordinarily busy this holiday weekend, the Minnesota public safety officials are stepping up to keep people safe on the water as a result of Operation Dry Water.

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Minnesota public safety officials are stepping up to keep people safe on the water as a result of Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign that highlights the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Pioneer file photo
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Due to Minnesota’s waterways being extraordinarily busy this holiday weekend, Minnesota public safety officials are stepping up to keep people safe on the water as a result of Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign that highlights the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and their public safety partners want to call attention to the heavy penalties associated with boating while intoxicated.

BWI is the leading contributing factor in boating accidents and fatalities and nearly half the fatal boating incidents in Minnesota involved alcohol in recent years, according to a release from the DNR.

On Saturday, July 2, through Monday, July 4, the DNR warns the public that there will be an increased focus on boating while under the influence and there will be a no-tolerance penalty if caught.

“If you’re caught boating under the influence, there won’t be a warning or a second chance,” Lt. Adam Block, DNR enforcement boating law administrator, said in the release. “The stakes are too high and people who enjoy the water the right way shouldn’t be at risk because of someone else’s decision to drink and boat.”

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Minnesota has some of the nation’s strongest BWI laws and penalties associated with boating under the influence have never been higher. People convicted of drinking and driving, whether they’re driving a boat, motor vehicle or recreational vehicle, will lose their privilege to operate any of them.

The release also mentioned the reason many boating accidents turn fatal is because the people who fall overboard aren’t wearing a life jacket. At the same time, being intoxicated is often what causes them to end up in the water. Public safety officials urge all boaters to stay “dry” on the water and wait until they’re back on shore to drink alcohol.

Operation Dry Water activities are sponsored by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.

For more information, visit the Operation Dry Water website at OperationDryWater.org or the boating safety page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/BoatingSafety.

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