Enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested three boaters for allegedly operating a vessel while intoxicated during Operation Dry Water this past weekend.
On June 26, agents arrested Steven P. Sander Jr., 35, of Metairie, on Bayou Segnette in Jefferson Parish for DWI on the water. Agents also arrested Donald Lennox, 54, of Prairieville, on the Amite River Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish, and Jay B. Burchfield, 39, of Hammond, on North Pass in Tangipahoa Parish for DWIs on the water on June 27.
Last year, Louisiana had 18 boating fatalities, with alcohol playing a role in six. Nationwide, statistics show 21 percent of all boating fatalities are alcohol-related, according to a press release from LDWF.
In Louisiana, a DWI on the water 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 their 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 the road.
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, the release states.
Last year, during the 2014 Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents issued five DWI citations, according to the release.