Increased law enforcement on waterways for holiday weekend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Increased law enforcement on waterways for holiday weekend

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It's a busy weekend out on the Mississippi River.

While boaters are enjoying the breeze, riding the waves -- Iowa DNR officers are making sure people are safe. "With the different events going on, you will see more officers, more presence just due to the amount of boaters in the area," said Andrew Keil, conservation officer with the DNR.

They're not doing it alone. To help patrol the river this weekend, the Iowa DNR partners with other agencies, including the Wisconsin DNR.

In Guttenburg, a boat with about eight people on board is stopped for an inspection. Besides checking for safety equipment, the main concern on the water is drunk drivers.

"The majority of our fatal boat accidents, not only in our state, but also in the U.S., the majority are alcohol related," Keil said.

The DNR says when alcohol comes into play good judgement is forgotten. "Boaters go out and they may not remember their life jackets, but their able to obtain a number of 30 pack of Busch Light, and it does go hand in hand, unfortunately with the alcohol consumption," Keil added.

So, officers recommend having a designated driver and checking for safety equipment before hitting the water.

The DNR says boating while intoxicated is a serious offense, just like drunk driving.

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