Boating

Sulphur Man Arrested for DWI on the Water

Release Date: 06/28/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Sulphur man on June 23 for allegedly driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) in Calcasieu Parish.

Agents arrested William Hafer, 40, for DWI and also cited him for destroying crab traps and removing contents, taking commercial fish without a commercial fishing license or commercial gear license.

While on boat patrol, agents observed Hafer on a waterway south of Sulphur running crab traps.  Agents made contact with Hafer and determined that he did not have permission to remove the contents of the crab traps that he was checking.

While investigating the theft of crabs, agents observed that Hafer was operating his vessel under the influence of alcohol.  Hafer was taken to the landing where he was placed under arrest and brought to the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Facility and booked for DWI and crab theft charges.

Destroying legal crab traps or removing contents carries a penalty of $400-$950, up to 120 days in jail, or both plus court costs.  Taking commercial fish without commercial license and without a commercial gear license carries a penalty of $250-$500, or up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court costs for each offense.

This was Hafer's second offense DWI, which carries a fine of $750-$1,000, plus imprisonment between 30 days to six months.

Agents participating were Lt. Remy Broussard and Senior Agent Beau Robertson.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Issue 10 DWI's During Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 06/27/2011

 

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested 10 boaters statewide for driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26.

In the northern part of the state agents arrested Michael Smith, 34, of Jonesville, on Bushley Bayou in Catahoula Parish on June 25; Eric Bates Jr., 22, of Bernice, on Corney Lake in Claiborne Parish on June 24; and Bryon Breedlove, 26, of Shreveport, on the Red River in Bossier Parish on June 26.

Agents arrested Lyle Laussade III, 22, of Ponchatoula, on the Tickfaw River on June 25; David Goodale, 43, of Walker, on the Tickfaw River on June 25; Brian Hernandez, 49, of Baton Rouge, on the Amite River/Diversion Canal on June 25; and Chad Panepinto, 27, of Hammond, on the Tickfaw River on June 26 in the eastern part of the state.

In the southern part of the state agents arrested Kevin Davis, 54, of Texas, on the Belle River in St. Martin Parish on June 25; Lance LeBlanc, 23, of Bourg, on the Intracoastal Canal in Terrebonne Parish; and Dwight Landry, 56, of Breaux Bridge, in Henderson Bay in St. Martin Parish on June 25.

"We take DWI enforcement on the water very serious since the leading cause of boating fatalities is alcohol," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's boating law administrator.  "We want everybody on the water to have a good time, but to keep in mind that they need a designated driver just like on land."

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 32 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2009.  Alcohol was again the leading primary cause of those boating fatal incidents leading to 24 percent of the fatalities.  Nationwide, statistics from 2009 reveal that 16 percent of all boat incident fatalities were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  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 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.

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.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving LDWF, 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 aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF To Hold Summer Camp For Kids 12 to 16 Years Old

Release Date: 06/27/2011

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring a summer camp from July 18-22, 2011 for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge.

The camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.  LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.

"We want to teach children, before they finish middle and high school, the fun and excitement of spending time outdoors,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.  Not only will they get valuable boater and hunter education certificates, but they will have the chance to get excited about spending less time with computers and video games, and more time enjoying the truly exciting activities Louisiana’s great outdoors has to offer.”

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camp.  Cabela's in Gonzales also donated a rod and reel combo set that each child will receive to fish with while at the camp and take home.

In addition to LDWF's instructor's, the Louisiana branch of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will also have personnel on site and will give each student a CCA membership upon completion of the camp.

The camp is open to the first 20 children that register.  To register, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.  The camp is only open to children who do not have a boater or hunter education certificate.

Parents who register their children, may drop them off at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their kids up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Enforcement Division Cooperating In Operation Dry Water June 24-26

Release Date: 06/22/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 24-26 with increased patrols for operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"We want people to be safe and have fun while boating recreationally," commented Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "But alcohol use has become the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents.  We recommend that boaters avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at all times, and we will have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our waters."

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 32 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2009.  Alcohol was again the leading primary cause of those boating fatal incidents leading to 24 percent of the fatalities.  Nationwide, statistics from 2009 reveal that 16 percent of all boat incident fatalities were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

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.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  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.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

“There will be arrests this weekend and some boaters will face the consequences of operating a boat while impaired," added Lt. Col. Mayne.  "But we'd much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they're never coming back."

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 aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Boaters Can Take Free Boating Safety Course at Home

Release Date: 06/21/2011

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now offering a new online boating safety course provided by the BoatUS Foundation.  The course can be found at www.BoatUS.org or www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

The new online course is approved by LDWF and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and allows Louisiana boaters to get their safe boating certification at no cost in the comfort of their own home.

"The department wants to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to get their boating safety certification," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's boating law administrator.  "Since the course is free and people can take it at home, we want to encourage everybody to give it a try even those that don't need their certification.  This free online course will teach new boaters how to become safer on the water and old boaters some new tips."

Louisiana boaters born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

With the free online course, those looking to get certified now have three options to choose from: the traditional classroom course taught in one day, the free online course from BoatUS.org and an online course for a small fee from boat-ed.com.

The free online course and exam is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

“We’ve loaded the course with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters, sailors and anglers an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Boating Safety Chris Edmonston. “It includes videos that demonstrate important safety devices such as visual distress signals, how to get help in an emergency, how to prevent and extinguish fires aboard your boat, and the best way to fit a life jacket to a child so they will not slip out.”

Upon successful completion of the course, boaters print out their own certificate of completion as proof of boater education.

About the BoatUS Foundation:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. To make a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit, go to www.BoatUS.com/foundation.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Offering Safe Boating Patrol Ride Along Opportunities For Media Members For Operation Dry Water

Release Date: 06/15/2011

 

What: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 24-26 with increased patrols for operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

When: LDWF is offering safe boating ride along opportunities the week before the Operation Dry Water weekend from June 20 to the 24.  To schedule a media ride along opportunity on a safe boating patrol, please contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Where: Statewide

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

LDWF Reopens Portion of Atchafalaya Basin To All Boat Traffic

Release Date: 06/13/2011

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened all boat traffic for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish starting at noon today, June 13.

The department closed an area from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side to all boat traffic on May 26.  The width of the previous closure ran from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line 1/2 a mile north of the bridge on the north side.

The closure area was due to the high water conditions that were caused by the opening of the Morganza Spillway.  The elevated water in the area put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines that run from the Henderson levee to the Butte La Rose levee at a dangerous clearance level for boat traffic.

With water conditions slowly declining in the basin, the department has determined that the power line is now high enough above the water for boat traffic to safely travel under the line.

The reopened area consists of the portion of the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway between the West Protection (Guide) levee and the Butte La Rose levee on the west bank of the Atchafalaya River, which is south of a line running from 30.331556, -91.7881 to 30.349317, -91.723331 and which is north of a line running from 30.323706, -91.788605 to 30.342755, -91.7196.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

10 DWI Arrests Made on the Water During Memorial Day Weekend

Release Date: 05/31/2011

May 31, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents made 10 driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) arrests statewide this Memorial Day Weekend.

The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  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.

LDWF Strikeforce agents made DWI cases against Rouddy A. Pierce, 43, of Galliano, on Bayou Blue in Lafourche Parish on May 28; Brandon B. Vice, 25, of Houma, on the Intracoastal Waterway in Terrebonne Parish on May 29; and Phillip J. Trahna, 25, of Gibson, on the Intracoastal Waterway in Terrebonne Parish on May 29.  Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Michael Williams participated in these DWI arrests.

Agents in Livingston Parish made DWI cases on the Tickfaw River against David A. Weber, 48, of Destrehan, on May 28; Wilbert K. Black, 53, of Kenner, on May 29; and Michael E. Triplett, 31, of Flora, Miss., on May 29.  Sgt. Toby Miller, Senior Agent Brody Roberts and Senior Agent Clay Marques participated in these DWI arrests.

On Toledo Bend, Lt. Bill Tyree and Senior Agent Eric Droddy made one DWI case against Caster D. Caisson, 56, of Duson, on May 30.

Agents in the northwestern part of the state made DWI cases against Austin Frye, 21, of Arcadia, on Lake Claiborne in Claiborne Parish on May 30; and Marcus Hooker, 39, of Logansport, on the Sabine River in Desoto Parish on May 28.  Sgt. Ryan Brasher, Senior Agent Joey Melton and Senior Agent Michael Dunn participated in these cases.

Agents made a DWI case against James Davis Jr., 66, of Newellton, on the backwater of the Mississippi River on May 30.  Senior Agent Johnny Wilson, Sgt. Joe Chandler and Senior Agent Leya Grover participated in this case.

"Alcohol use and operating a boat do not mix as it impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's boating law administrator.  "Alcohol also increases fatigue and intensifies the effect from the sun, wind and movement while on the water.  All of these alcohol related side effects have shown an increase in fatal boating crash incidents in Louisiana and the country."

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  Alcohol use was listed as the leading primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths in Louisiana in 2009. 

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 on the water or on the road carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.  Every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

 

LDWF Closes Portion of Atchafalaya Basin To All Boat Traffic

Release Date: 05/25/2011

May 25, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all boat traffic for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish starting at 6 a.m. on May 26.

The closure area length is from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side. The width of the closure is from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line half a mile north of the bridge on the north side.

The closure area is due to the current high water conditions that are caused by the opening of the Morganza Spillway. The elevated water in the area has put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines that run from the Henderson levee to the Butte La Rose levee at an expected dangerous clearance level of seven feet for boat traffic.

These lower than usual electrical lines could be a deadly hazard for boaters. In order to avoid de-energizing the lines that would result in loss of electricity to many citizens and the Butte La Rose Welcome Center, LDWF decided to restrict boat traffic in the area described below.

The entirety of that portion of the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway between the West Protection (Guide) levee and the Butte La Rose levee on the west bank of the Atchafalaya River, which is south of a line running from 30.331556, -91.7881 to 30.349317, -91.723331 and which is north of a line running from 30.323706, -91.788605 to 30.342755, -91.7196.

Click here to view a map of the closure.

The closure will remain in effect until further notice.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 21-27

Release Date: 05/20/2011

 

Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 21-27 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.  Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.

"Personal flotation devices are made to be worn and not sit in a vessel storage compartment.  Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, we (LDWF) still encourage everyone on a boat to wear a personal flotation device whenever the boat is in motion," said LDWF Boating Safety Officer Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.  “A personal flotation device on a boat should be treated the same as a seatbelt in a car, because they are both easy to use and are proven to save lives."

LDWF boating incident statistics indicate that nearly 74 percent of boating fatalities were people that drown because the person was not wearing a PFD.  LDWF regulations state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

In Louisiana in 2009 alcohol use was listed as the leading primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  Alcohol also increases fatigue and susceptibility to hypothermia.  Intensifying the effects of alcohol are sun, wind, noise, vibration and movement, which are all common to boating activities.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  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 on the water or on the road carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.  Again, every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

"One of the best parts of our job is to see people utilize Louisiana's waterways for recreation in accordance to the boating safety regulations and return home safely to loved ones.  However, the worst part of our job is to search for deceased bodies and notify family members of their loss," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State Boating Law Administrator.  "The two ways to make boating safe, fun and a memorable experience is to have a sober operator and to have everyone wear a personal flotation device when the vessel is underway."

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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