MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Operation Dry-Water is a national initiative to stop intoxicated boating on the Fourth of July weekend, but this year Minnesota DNR is expecting even more enforcement than the average holiday weekend.
With COVID-19 pushing more Minnesotans outdoors, the DNR is preparing for new boaters on the water. Conservation officers are worried that with more boaters there is a higher chance of intoxicated boating.
"What Operation Dry-Water is is a nationwide campaign to bring awareness to boating while intoxicated. boating while intoxicated can include either alcohol or drugs." Said Conservation Officer Arnaud Kpachavi.
This year's campaign is from Friday July third through Sunday July fifth, meaning there will be an increased officer presence on the water through out the state with one goal in mind.
"We'd much rather make an arrest for operating under the influence than we would respond to a tragedy. Because there are people who have been killed by drunk boaters. Every year there are accidents and fatalities related to operating under the influence in the state of Minnesota." Said Kpachavi. "We want people to be safe and have a good time out there but people have to take individual responsibility for their actions."
The DNR urges people to try and continue to social distance and be patient with new boaters.