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Drunken boating down in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports a major drop in drunken boating arrests and accidents around the state. This news comes as the DNR, county sheriff’s offices and federal agencies are stepping up patrols for impaired boaters this weekend — June 27-29. 

So far this year, 10 people have been arrested for boating while intoxicated BWI on Minnesota waters — compared to more than 20 arrests this time last year.

In 2013, 89 people were arrested for BWI compared to 158 in 2012— a 50 percent drop.

And one of the three boating fatalities in 2014 has been alcohol related.

Alcohol use was a factor in about 8 percent of fatal boating accidents in 2013 compared to 33 percent in 2012.

Operating a boat with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher is against the law. Boaters caught operating under the influence will have their boat impounded.

This weekend’s enforcement is part of Operation Dry Water, a national weekend BWI education and enforcement aimed at reducing alcohol and drug-related accidents and deaths.