In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested three boaters statewide for alleged driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28.
On June 26 agents arrested Steven P. Sander Jr., 35, of Metairie, on Bayou Segnette in Jefferson Parish for DWI on the water. Agents also arrested Donald Lennox, 54, of Prairieville, on the Amite River Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish, and Jay B. Burchfield, 39, of Hammond, on North Pass in Tangipahoa Parish for DWIs on the water on June 27.
Louisiana had 18 boating fatalities in 2014 with alcohol playing a role in six fatalities or 33 percent. Nationwide, statistics from 2014 reveal that 21 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.
LDWF agents issued five DWI citations to boat operators during the 2014 Operation Dry Water weekend.
Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe. In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.
Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case. Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.
In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard. More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.