DNR cracking down on drunk boating - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

DNR cracking down on drunk boating

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LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Wisconsin had the nation's third-highest number of alcohol-related boating deaths in 2012, according to the Associated Press.  Their report states eight people were killed in Wisconsin last year in intoxicated boating accidents.

The Department of Natural Resources said this weekend is one of the biggest weekends out on the water, which is why they're stepping up enforcement.

In Wisconsin, you are allowed to drink while boating.  The DNR isn't necessarily looking for people who are drinking.

They're looking for people who seem to be over the legal limit of point .08

The DNR looks for people driving recklessly, too fast in a no wake zone, not yielding to other boaters or not using their lights properly.

They take drunk boating seriously, because boating accidents can be worse than car accidents.

"With the boating environment you're not on dry land so if something happens it happens really fast you don't have a seat belt to hold you into the boat and you'll be in that cold water," Chris Shea, Conservation Warden, DNR said.

If the DNR suspects a person driving a boat is over the legal limit they'll give them a field sobriety test, similar to what you'd do on land, except it tests your coordination sitting down.

If you don't pass, they'll bring you in to the nearest police department for a breathalyzer, and to be booked.

The DNR said if you find yourself out on the water and have had too much to drink, don't be afraid to call for help or to call and report another driver.  You can call 911 or 1-800-TIP-WDNR.

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