LDWF cites 10 for on-the-water DWI during Memorial Day weekend

Offenders face stiff fines, loss of driving and boating privileges

Ten boaters from across the state were cited with operating a vessel while intoxicated during the Memorial Day weekend, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported.

In Southeast Louisiana, the LDWF Strikeforce made DWI cases against:

• Rouddy A. Pierce, 43, of Galliana, on Bayou Blue in Lafourche Parish on May 28;
• Brandon B. Vice, 25, of Houma, on the Intracoastal Waterway in Terrebonne Parish on May 29; and
• Phillip J. Trahna, 25, of Gibson, on the Intracoastal Waterway in Terrebonne Parish on May 29.

Agents in Livingston Parish made DWI cases on the Tickfaw River against:
• David A. Weber, 48, of Destrehan, on May 28;
• Wilbert K. Black, 53, of Kenner, on May 29; and
• Michael E. Triplett, 31, of Flora, Miss., on May 29.

On Toledo Bend, 56-year-old Caster D. Caisson of Duson was cited on May 30.

Agents in the northwestern part of the state made DWI cases against:
• Austin Frye, 21, of Arcadia, on Lake Claiborne on May 30; and
• Marcus Hooker, 39, of Logansport, on the Sabine River in Desoto Parish on May 28.

Agents also cited 66-year-old James Davis Jr. of Newellton on the backwater of the Mississippi River on May 30.

Penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road, including loss of driver’s license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.

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 on the water or on the road 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.

“Alcohol use and operating a boat do not mix, as it impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state’s boating law administrator.  “Alcohol also increases fatigue and intensifies the effect from the sun, wind and movement while on the water.

“All of these alcohol-related side effects have shown an increase in fatal boating crash incidents in Louisiana and (across) the country.”

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009, and alcohol use was listed as the primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths.