Milwaukee police arrest 10 during “Operation Dry Water”

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Milwaukee Police Department Water Patrol

Milwaukee Police Department Water Patrol

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee police made 10 arrests during this year’s “Operation Dry Water.” The “Operation Dry Water” program is a nationwide program involving a law enforcement sweep of lakes and rivers meant to locate those operating boats under the influence.

During this year’s program, police made 2,500 contacts with individuals out on the water. In addition to the 10 arrested, 141 tickets were written.

During last year’s “Operation Dry Water,” police arrested 14 people for boating under the influence and issued 162 boating tickets.

Milwaukee Police Officer Chris Boss said driving a boat drunk can be more dangerous than driving a car drunk. That's because there are no traffic lines, no stop signs and many times, boaters may be inexperienced.

"Please come out, recreate, have a good time, but do so safely. People obviously know that they can drink and drive a boat, but they don't realize how quickly they can reach the limit of .08 and again, they don't realize how quickly things can go wrong. If you're out on the roadways, you have reference points. If you're out on the water, you don't have the reference points and there are other hazards on the water people tend to forget about once they've had too much to drink," Officer Boss said.

A U.S. Coast Guard report said boating deaths last year were at the highest point since the late 90s.