La. Wildlife and Fisheries agents are stressing boat safety throughout holiday weekend

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Operation Dry Water is a nationwide campaign to deter operating a vessel while intoxicated.
The campaign will run through this weekend. 

“All the major holidays throughout the summer, we intensify our patrols to include more waterways to ensure that people are boating safely on the water,” Sgt. Thomas Ashley with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.

Unfortunately, about 33% of all boating fatalities that happen on the water are due to over consumption of alcohol or illegal drug use,” Ashley said.
He said on average, two to three agents are assigned per parish to patrol the waterways.

“Anywhere that people are congregated in larger numbers, wildlife agents will be there,” he added.
According to the state agency, in recent history, Louisiana has one of the highest fatality rates among states with at least 100,000 registered boats.

As for boating safety, drivers under the influence will be taken into custody.

“They’ll be charged with a DUI, driving under the influence and they will be arrested. The penalties for operating a boat on the water are the same as operating a vehicle on a public roadway,” explained Sgt. Ashley. “There’s absolutely no difference.”

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says those traveling by boat must have life jackets on board for all passengers. 

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