Iowa law enforcement take part in Operation Dry Water initiative - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa law enforcement take part in Operation Dry Water initiative


The Clos family of Evansdale is enjoying their weekend at Coralville Lake.

"They have a lot of fun tubing, bring all their friends, so it's a good place to be," said Charlie Clos.

Whether with family or friends, 22-year-old Sarah Clos often finds herself out on the water.

"I usually go out once a week," she said. 

When she's driving, she's limiting her alcohol intake.

"I'm usually the one that's driving, so I might have one and that'll be it," Clos said.

With 4th of July weekend approaching, one of the busiest times on the water, law enforcement across the country are ramping up their efforts to make sure boat operators are staying under the legal limit.

Multiple law enforcement agencies will be highly visible this weekend on Iowa's busiest waterways.

It's part of the U.S. Coast Guards Operation Dry Water initiative cracking down on and educating those boating under the influence.

 "Having an operator that's impaired, whether it be through the sun and the wave action or something like that, or hours on the lakes, you've got to kind of recognize your limits.' Said Joe Wilkinson, an information specialist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

According to a 2011 Coast Guard report, alcohol is the number one contributor in boating fatalities.

Nationally, the rate of deaths from such accidents are up more than 14 percent since 2010.

Officials find many times that alcohol impairment coupled with boater inexperience can be a recipe for disaster.

"You don't have those designated markings and lanes and stoplights on the water so that can make it dicer when you're out operating," Wilkinson said.

The hope for the Clos family and the thousands of other Iowans out on the water this summer is that the good time doesn't get out of hand.

"We let them know, no drinking and driving, and they don't," Charlie Clos said.

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