Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries patrol agents cited five people for allegedly boating under the influence and issued 98 citations statewide as part of Operation Dry Water last weekend.

Spokesman Adam Einck said this was the fourth year LDWF participated in the nationwide program administered by the North America Safe Boating Law to heighten the public’s awareness of the dangers involved in boating while impaired.

“Finding DWIs on the water isn’t the number one goal of this program,” Einck said. “Obviously it’s nice to find the ones who are impaired and get them off the water before they inflict any kind of damage on others or themselves. 

“But more than anything, we want to increase our presence and heighten the public’s awareness of the problem of DWIs and boating, and the penalties that ensue.”

A DWI on the water here carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road, according to an LDWF release.

In Louisiana, a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail, the release states.