July 4th weekend in Minnesota: Operation Dry Water aims to crackdown on drunk boat operators

A Hennepin County Sheriffs Office boat on Lake Minnetonka. 

Those celebrating the Fourth of July weekend on the water are being forewarned of extra patrols to catch people who are operating a boat while drunk.

As part of Operation Dry Water, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota State Patrol, local sheriff’s offices, and other public safety agencies will increase patrols for intoxicated boat operators and vehicle drivers July 1-3.

Operation Dry Water is a national campaign aimed at deterring boating under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In recent years, more than half of all boating fatalities in Minnesota involved impaired driving. According to the Minnesota DNR, there were 15 boating fatalities and 77 non-fatal boating accidents in Minnesota in 2022. In 2021, there were 18 boating fatalities and 69 non-fatal boating accidents. 

As in years past, the goal of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of impaired boating accidents and fatalities.