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Law Enforcement Kicks Off National Boating Campaign

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in boater deaths. The Operation Dry Water initiative hopes to change that statistic
As summer heats up, more and more people will be hitting the lakes on their boats.

Law enforcement hopes that boaters will do so without consuming alcohol.

"Just remember, we want you to be safe, don't take chances," said Max Winchell, an Indiana Conservation Officer. "Alcohol will affect you more on the water and in the heat."

With Operation Dry Water kicking off this weekend, boaters will see a larger law enforcement presence on the waters.

"Our officers will be out in the water this weekend, checking boats, making sure everybody's safe and making sure that people, if they have been drinking, that they're not over the legal limit," added Officer Winchell.

One boater is happy with the nationwide campaign.

"I think it's a great idea to have officers in the water keeping people safe on their boats," said Sally Dow of Terre Haute.

She says her family goes to the Lazy L Lake in West Terre Haute.

She likes that alcohol is prohibited at the lake.

"Yeah usually we just try to stay here. I mean, we don't go anywhere else besides here," Dow said.

Whether alcohol is allowed or not, Officer Winchell wants boaters to always drive cautiously.

"If you're on the water, drive defensively. Look around, make sure you know, see the other operators," added Winchell. "Don't anticipate what they are going to do. That's a very important safety tip when you're in the waters. Have a 360 degree awareness on what's going on around you."

Last year alone, the Operation Dry Water initiative made 290 BUI arrests in one weekend.

The campaign hopes to reduce that number this weekend.
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