LAKE MINNETONKA - As Minnesota grapples with its highest number of boating deaths in 12 years, law enforcement is cracking down on BWI – boating while intoxicated.
"We have nine boating fatalities so far this year," said Lt. Colonel Greg Salo with the Minnesota DNR. "Just over 50 percent of all the boating deaths this year are alcohol related."
With statistics like that, enforcement patrols will be more present this extended holiday weekend.
"We had seven arrests Saturday," said Matt Miller with the DNR. "One boat crash yesterday that did involve alcohol operation and a BWI arrest. Luckily nobody was hurt, but it resulted in property damage."
This boating season has been the deadliest for Minnesota since 2005.
"Education is key," said Lt. Kent Vnuk with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. "Letting people know the dangers of boating under the influence, drinking underage, wearing a life jacket, all that goes into making a safe weekend."
A BWI is just as serious a charge as a DWI.