GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Independence Day is one of the busiest days for boaters, but that also means it is one of the most dangerous.
Because of this, ‘Operation Dry Water’ is in full effect, in which local authorities patrol waterways more heavily for impaired drivers.
According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the number one cause of death in the United States for recreational boaters is operating under the influence.
Conservation Warden Gavin Brault says, “People that don’t drive boats often are out driving boats, which adds to the danger factor of accidents and operating while intoxicated.”
Law enforcement officials stress the importance of a designated driver. Lieutenant Jordan Atlas says, “There’s going to be more boaters this weekend, and especially with the Fourth of July fireworks, we’ll have people who are out here, who’ve never been on a boat before. There’s just more of a concern for safety overall.”
While it is important to stay safe, it is also important to have fun. Ledgeview resident Cassie Barnard says, “I think that planning ahead is key. I feel like we’ve done that already, and just be safe and stay sober out there and be cognizant of who’s around you.”
Last year, law enforcement officials apprehended more than six hundred impaired operators across the country during the holiday weekend.