Game Wardens Target Impaired Boaters Over July 4th Weekend

Topeka, Kan. — Game wardens with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) spent the holiday weekend participating in Operation Dry Water – a nationwide law enforcement effort to prevent boating under the influence (BUI). Game wardens patrolled Kansas lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, targeting impaired boat operators and safety violations to keep Kansans safe while recreating on the water.

As a result of the weekend’s operation, game wardens arrested two boat operators for boating under the influence, one vehicle operator for driving under the influence (DUI), and another individual who was the subject of a felony arrest warrant. In total, game wardens issued 39 boating violation citations and 80 boating violation warnings. Numerous other warnings and citations were issued for fishing, boating, and other public land violations.

The holiday weekend proved to be a safe one with only one reportable boat accident, and no injuries reported. During their time on the water, game wardens also assisted 30 stranded boats and completed six search and rescue missions.

Alcohol consumption is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; and, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Recreational Boating Statistics for 2021 lists it as the leading factor in 16 percent of all boating-related deaths.

While increased patrol efforts will resume to normal levels following the popular holiday, Operation Dry Water outreach and awareness will remain a nationwide priority year-round, thanks to the outreach efforts of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, USCG, and participating law enforcement agencies, like KDWP.

If you suspect that someone is driving or boating under the influence on a publicly-managed property, contact a KDWP game warden nearest you by visiting https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWP-Info/Locations/County-Information.

For more on the KDWP Law Enforcement Division, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/Services/Law-Enforcement.