Boat patrols crack down on boaters under the influence this weekend
With summer temperatures in full-force there's no better place to cool-off than on the lake, but the Department of Natural Resources and area municipalities will be reminding residents to be safe on the water this weekend as they crack down on boaters driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
The Pewaukee Lake Patrol is taking part in a national effort called "Operation Dry Water" and increasing boat patrols from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28.
Over 20-percent of fatal boating accidents are a result of alcohol use, and the effort is designed to reduce alcohol-related accidents and fatalities as well as deter alcohol use on the water.
"Operation Dry Water" also coincides with a number of summer Pewaukee festivites.
"This weekend with the Pewaukee Beach Party, we will be having extra patrols more so than other weekends," said Sergeant Kim Miswald of the Pewaukee Lake Patrol.
Patrols will be out searching for boat operators whose blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher.
Alcohol can impair a boater's judgement, balance, vision and reaction time. It can also increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise and vibration and motion - "stressors" common to the boating environment - intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.
Other agencies are not participating in "Operation Dry Water" but will still be out patrolling. Lieutenant Chuck Moranchek of the City of Delafield Police Department said the City will be patrolling Lake Nagawicka this weekend. The same can be said for other lakes patrolled by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department. Lieutenant Bill Duering of the Sheriff's Department said they would also be patrolling this weekend as well. Town of Oconomowoc Police Chief Jim Wallis could not be reached for comment. The Oconomowoc Police Department patrols Okauchee Lake.
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