Sheriff: Lake Minnetonka 'much calmer' this 4th of July weekend despite uptick in BUIs

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said it made fewer stops and responded to fewer calls on Lake Minnetonka this Fourth of July weekend, but saw an uptick in boating under the influence incidents.

Overall, the Sheriff said the waters of Lake Minnetonka were “much calmer” than 2019 when deputies responded to five assaults and a large fight on a boat.

In addition, traffic at the popular boating spot Big Island was down by “about one third,” the Sheriff said.

Big Island during Fourth of July weekend in 2020.

Big Island during Fourth of July weekend 2019.

The Sheriff’s Office released its Lake Minnetonka statistics Monday, showing six boating under the influence incidents reported this year compared to just three in 2019.

Between July 3 and July 5, Water Patrol deputies made 211 stops, contacts and calls, which was down from 221 in 2019. Those deputies issued the exact same number of citations (51) as the year prior, too.

The “vast majority” of stops deputies made were “educational,” the Sheriff’s Office said. 198 verbal warnings were issued to boaters over the weekend and 3 written warnings were issued.

Seven people were hospitalized off Lake Minnetonka as well.