Operation Dry Water fights drunk boating - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Operation Dry Water fights drunk boating

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NORTH LIBERTY (KWWL) -

If you're heading out for some boating this weekend, the Department of Natural Resources hopes you'll keep dry, in a sense.

"We look for BWI on Coralville Lake, so we've always kind of pushed it pretty hard here," DNR Conservation Officer Erika Billerbeck said.

BWI is Boating While Intoxicated. This weekend, DNR officers will participate in a nationwide push to prevent BWI, Operation Dry Water.

Boater John O'Neil is on board.

"We always try to have a designated driver on the boat,' he said. "We just play it safe."

Billerbeck said the best rule of thumb is if you've had enough to drink that you wouldn't driver a car, don't drive a boat, because the accidents can be equally deadly.

"I personally think it's more dangerous to be driving a boat when you're drunk," she said. "Oftentimes, the boat is full of 12 people, so when something does happen, it can be pretty tragic on the water."

A BWI won't affect you driver's license, but if you're caught with a BAC over .08, you'll still spend the night in jail.

"We're seeing more designated drivers," Billerbeck said. "We're seeing people that are more aware of the law in general, so they know that they shouldn't be driving while they're intoxicated."

Billerbeck said they're also taking extra precaution in the wake of a Clive man's drowning after being arrested by Missouri State Troopers several weeks ago. They plan to put life jackets on all detainees, and won't cuff cooperative offenders until they reach shore.

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