Texas game wardens arrest 58 for boating while intoxicated during holiday

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens made 58 boating under the influence arrests and made contact with about 30,000 recreational boaters during the July Fourth weekend.

Game wardens also filed 39 minor in possession of alcohol cases and eight for drug-related offenses during the holiday weekend, according to a news release.

“TPWD participates in coordinated efforts like Operation Dry Water, along with hundreds of other agencies nationwide, in an effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities we see due to boaters consuming alcohol on the water,” said Asst. Commander Cody Jones, TPWD’s boating law administrator, in the release. “Our goal is to educate boaters as well as remove impaired operators from the water in order to keep all other boaters safe.”

More than 550 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies participated in the Dry Water effort. In 2013, 6,219 law enforcement officers from 513 agencies and Coast Guard units participated in the operation. Officers made contact with 144,044 boaters, issued 17,159 citations and safety warnings, and made 290 arrests for boating under the influence.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Since 2009, the year Operation Dry Water launched, there has been a 37 percent drop in the number of boater deaths where alcohol use was the known contributing factor.

Will Leschper is founder of The Texas Outdoor Digest. He has been recognized for Excellence in Craft by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Texas Outdoor Writers Association. He is Conservation Editor of Texas Fish & Game Magazine and is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters, in addition to writing for plenty of of now-defunct publications.