Extra DNR patrols looking for drunk boaters on Fourth of July - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Extra DNR patrols looking for drunk boaters on Fourth of July holiday


MADISON (WKOW) -- For the Fourth of July, many Wisconsinites will be out on the water, and state officials are making sure no one's drinking while boating. 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has increased water patrols out as part of "Operation Dry Water." It's a nationwide effort to keep drunk drivers off the water.

DNR warden Kyle Dilley says they're used to looking out for drunk boaters. 

"There's certainly a drinking culture here, that intoxicated operation isn't something we're not used to running in to," Dilley said. "It's certainly something that we expect to run in to and we certainly are trying to make efforts toward curbing that culture here in the area."

The gloomy weather last weekend and slow-no wake orders on a number of local lakes kept most boaters off the water.

"I worked it all last weekend, " Dilley said. "Saturday was a damper of a day for boating, at least it was pretty cloudy and rainy. I wouldn't expect the same kind of number as last year."

During the program last year, Wisconsin wardens made 11 arrests and wrote more than 700 citations.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office is also helping with Operation Dry Water. 

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