Extra officers were on Lake Minnetonka recently, arresting four boaters, giving 103 verbal warnings and issuing 13 citations as part of a recent crackdown on boating.
The increased enforcement was part of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' "Operation Dry Water," a national campaign June 22 to 24 to make enforcement more visible before the July 4th holiday and peak boating season.
Last year, alcohol contributed to half of the 16 boating fatalities in the state, according to the DNR. In 2011, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office water patrol made 75 boating while intoxicated arrests -- up from 48 in 2010. Careless consumption arrests also rose from 21 in 2010 to 31 in 2011.
Boating under the influence, or having a blood-alcohol content at or over the 0.08 percent limit, carries a minimum $1,000 fine and possible jail time. Boating operating privileges could be suspended for 90 days and with a conviction, the offense is on a person's driving record.