The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office water patrol has arrested 55 people so far this year for boating while intoxicated. That's down from the 68 in 2011 but up from the 53 in 2010.
"Intoxicated boat operators are a serious hazard," Sheriff Rich Stanek said in a statement, "and they jeopardize the safety of everyone on the water."
The arrests follow statistics the water patrol released earlier this summer, saying that both careless boating arrests and careless consumption arrests were up this year. The number of accidents, however, declined this year compared to past years.
That may be in part because the water patrol, which oversees 104 lakes and three rivers, has stepped up staffing this year. Officers now patrol Lake Minnetonka from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m., four hours longer than in past years.
People who are arrested for boating while intoxicated could be jailed and have their boat impounded. Repeat offenders could have their boat seized and driving privileges revoked.